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by Claire Munday

Post Brexit: Get off social media, get on the streets

Well there it is, we voted Brexit, but why are so many people still unhappy? Put simply, the result is way too close. It is almost a 50/50 split, meaning whatever happens next, half the voting population are going to be put in a situation they voted against. Many are calling for a more conclusive second referendum, with an online petition signed by hundreds of thousands within hours. However, my advice to those who are complaining over the result is to now get off social media and get on the streets. The only way to rectify this situation, is for voices to be heard through peaceful protest. You are going to achieve very little if you are only willing to use a keyboard as your tool.

I myself choose to respect democracy and let it fall in the hands of our Politicians to decide what happens next. Let them clear up the mess that they started. At the end of the day, this decision should never have been put to the public, especially with only four months to learn about the intricacies of the EU, all the while being pedalled lies by both sides.

Others do wish to make a stand and fair play to them; many Facebook Events have been set up to try and block Brexit. Unfortunately, people are still angry and therefore a lot of these groups feel divisive and still trying to split the nation. LondonStays was an event I was invited to; changing their ethos every ten minutes based on public reaction and now their name (I would say what it is but it’s probably changed again). They have at least made it an inclusive event now; a coming together of like-minded people wanting to rebuild bridges, no matter which way you voted, whilst showing the World that we are not anti-Europeans. It’s a nice sentiment but one I feel isn’t going to achieve much in the long term. I would rather those that are angry with the prospect of Brexit, used this energy to campaign for a second referendum that allows the crucial 16-17 year old vote. That would be achieving something, even if another referendum doesn’t take place, at least they tried to change the outcome rather than just moaning about it.

At the same time, I’m in no way condemning anyone who chose to vote Leave, as unlike what many will tell you, not everyone who voted out is a racist who wants to ban immigration to the UK. There were many reasons to vote leave, the fishers and farmers tired with EU regulations, the steel workers who have felt abandoned by both Westminster and the EU, the people who have family struggling under austerity in Greece, to name a few. I am simply putting my advice out there to the ones that feel strongly that this result is too close to be mandated, to the people who have switched sides now that reality has hit home (although to be fair, you were warned plenty of times about what would happen – as I write this #MysticClegg is trending on Twitter), to those who have felt let down by the backtracking on promises within hours of the result and to those who were denied the right to vote in the first place. If you feel as strongly as your status updates and shared articles suggest, get out there and be seen and heard.