Thousands turn out for pro-EU demonstration in Edinburgh


Thousands of people have attended a pro-EU demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. 

The event, organised by the Young European Movement (YEM) Edinburgh, saw thousands flock to Holyrood just after 5pm to demonstrate for Scotland to remain part of the European Union. 

Demo-goers flew European and Scotland flags and some carried messages of support for Scotland remaining in the EU in the backdrop of Arthur's Seat with a bagpiper playing traditional Scottish tunes. 

A minute's silence was held to pay respect to those who died in Tuesday's Istanbul airport terror attack prior to speakers addressing the crowd. 

Speakers including event organiser Jonny Rhodes, Dr Richard Dixon from Friends of the Earth Scotland and Alison Johnstone, MSP for the Scottish Green Party, rallied up the crowd.  

Speaking to the Press Association after the event, Mr Rhodes, 22 from Edinburgh, said: "I woke up on Friday and I think like most people in Scotland, had a very bitter taste in my mouth, so I got sad and then I got angry and decided it was time that the people of Scotland told everyone in Europe that we are Europeans, we're standing with you, we're in this together and we're not going to let you down. 

"I got in contact with some colleagues at the YEM and after a lot of hard work we've gathered thousands of people and sent a message of love and unity.

"There are many different paths forward and we need to be willing and inclusive and let everyone know that if they have an idea, as long as it ends with us staying in the EU, we're willing to hear it.

"Whatever it takes for our future generations to grow up as we did as Europeans." 

Amongst the speakers, the crowd broke into sporadic chanting including "Scotland for Europe", "Bairns not Boris" and "fromage not Farage". 

Ms Johnstone addressed the crowd, saying: "Every single corner of this country, all 32 local authorities voted to remain, so there's a very strong message from the people of Scotland that we want to remain in the EU and boy, are we going to try to remain in the EU!

"We're going to leave no stone unturned. The rights that we have gained as EU citizens have been hard won.

"When it comes to the the environment, when it comes to workers' rights, when it comes to equality, when it comes to the protection of people and this planet - we need and want these protections to remain. 

"Who knows where this journey will take us, but let's hope that it's a journey of hope, of peace and inclusivity.

"The Scottish Green Party will work with each and every party, each and every organisation and individual who wants to ensure that Scotland remains that important part of the EU."