Quakers have spoken out against what has been described as ‘the most audacious power grab our country has seen since 1642
Friends made their voices heard against the hugely controversial decision to prorogue parliament made by prime minister Boris Johnson.
While Quakers across the country joined demonstrations to express their condemnation, Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) joined a host of civil society leaders, warning that proroguing parliament risks eroding democratic accountability.
The statement, led by the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), on 29 August, said: ‘For a number of years, civil society organisations have expressed concern that some politicians are seeking to restrict the democratic role of the social sector and that such restrictions demonstrate a shrinking of civic space. The prime minister’s decision to suspend parliament for more than four weeks in the lead up to one of the most important national decisions in recent history shrinks the democratic and civic space even further.’ The signatories include representatives from Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and Children England.
The Quaker and Green MEP Molly Scott Cato also spoke out and supported parliament to stage a resistance to what she described as ‘the most audacious power grab our country has seen since 1642’. She said that, despite there being ‘no parliamentary mandate for this… it is important not to despair… This is a desperate government choosing an anti-democratic route to achieve a policy that is no longer popular in the country’. She called on people ‘to stand up for the democratic rights that were hard won’ and said: ‘If that means occupying the chamber and refusing to be removed, then that is what our elected members must do.’
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