WATCH: On Sunday 1st September Anna was proud to speak at a People’s Vote Defend Democracy rally in Newcastle, protesting Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament and calling for Brexit to be put back to the people.

Anna also spoke at a Defend Democracy rally in Middlesbrough on Saturday 31st August. The full text of Anna’s speech is below:


Hello Middlesbrough!!

You are amazing.

Thank you for coming today!

Thank you for taking a stand.

Thank you for making your voice heard.

Thank you for defending democracy!

We are standing here today in the middle of the biggest political and democratic crisis of our lives.

In Downing Street the home of our government we have a bunch of charlatans.

A liar and a buffoon as Prime Minster. Selected not by 10% of the population. Not by 1% but by 0.1% of the population.

A man who wrote two articles during the referendum – one for remain and one for leave before deciding which side was best for his career.

A man who has threatened to beat up journalists.

A man who won’t acknowledge how many children he has, let alone care for them.

Another Etonian born with a sense of an entitlement to rule in a game where the British people are just his pawns

And this man is backed by:

  • A chancellor who shut our steelworks and took 3000 jobs from Redcar
  • A home Secretary who wants to bring back the death penalty
  • A Brexit Secretary who has just found out yesterday that building a car in the north east relies on just in time supply chains bringing parts from within the single market

And why does this matter?

Because these are the people who will stop at nothing to drive their right wing, slash and burn neoliberal agenda.

Trashing our democracy for their own ends.

Putting up priceless institutions that were hard won – our NHS – our workers rights.

All for sale as they sacrifice this great country on the altar of global free-markets and go on bended knee to Trump.

And this is what is so serious today – because it is the people of this town and of Teesside who yet again will pay the price.

We all understand why so many people here voted to leave.

  • We’ve had 40 years of industrial decline
  • We have some of the highest child poverty rates in the country
  • Youth unemployment in redcar is two and a half times the national average
  • Food banks are exploding
  • People in London are getting 7 times the spend on transport that we in the north east get

The rising inequality and the sense of powerlessness are overwhelming and people here are rightfully angry.

But what makes me mad is how these votes by people in this area have been misappropriated.

Stolen by a bunch of millionaire, slash and burn Tory playboys for their own ends.

No matter how you voted 3 and a half years ago, no one voted for this.

No one voted to shut down your parliament – your representation.

No one voted for a reckless gamble with jobs and livelihoods here on Teesside.

No one voted for the destruction of manufacturing on a scale that would make Thatcher blush.

No one voted to devastate the NHS by disrupting the flow of life-saving medicines including for cancer diagnosis and therapy

No one voted to put 25% tariffs on the exports of companies here on the banks of the Tees and put them out of business and people on the dole.

No one voted for this.

These millionaire charlatans have stolen the votes of millions of people and are using them to justify their coup and to create the kind of chaos in our economy and society that they have always wanted, and which they and their speculating capitalist mates with their hedge funds will benefit from.

We are now on our third Prime Minister since this vote. He has no mandate. He has no parliamentary majority. He has no right to interpret that vote to suit his own ideological ends.

The charlatans and the hard right have stolen the votes of the British people and are rewriting the history of the referendum, trying to lie to you – just as they did back then – about what you voted for. They’ve stolen your voice.

It’s time for this to stop.

If parliament cannot agree on how to move forward, you don’t just shut it down and ride rough shod through to force your own minority hard right view – you go back to the British people!

It’s time now to put Brexit back to the people for the final say. It began with the people – it must end with the people.

And however you voted, we must stand together today and resist this shameless coup.

We must defend our democracy. We want more democracy not less.

We must send a message to say – not in our name.

We must take back control.

I want Brexit to go back into your hands to decide our future, to defend the jobs and rights of the people of Teesside and to build a fairer and more equal Britain.

Thank you.

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