HUNDREDS of protesters packed into Oxford's Broad Street today to oppose the suspension of Parliament.

This week Boris Johnson revealed his controversial decision to prorogue Parliament for almost five weeks in September and October, in order to deliver Brexit on October 31.

ALSO READ: Oxford politicians say Parliament shutdown would be 'reckless'

The Oxford Times:

Some of the banners in Broad Street

It has sparked a huge backlash, with critics concerned it will allow the government to push through a no-deal Brexit without the ability for other MPs to intervene.

The 'Stop The Coup' protest in Oxford was one of more than 30 across England, Scotland and Wales today. 

It was organised by anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe, in partnership with Oxford For Europe and other organisations.

Crowds filled Broad Street from 11am this morning, brandishing banners and chanting: "It will stop."

The Oxford Times:

Anneliese Dodds at the protest

The protest was staged outside Balliol College, of which the Prime Minister is a former student, and one man held a banner stating: "Balliol students disown Boris - no deal recklessly puts staff and students at risk."

ALSO READ: Boris Johnson's colourful past through the Oxford Mail archive

Speakers who addressed crowds said the protest was in defence of democracy.

Taking to the megaphone, Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran said: "Boris Johnson is a coward.

The Oxford Times:

"He is afraid of not just Parliament, but he is afraid of you.

"He may want to silence us, but he will not.

"This is nothing short of an authoritarian power grab, and it will be stopped."

Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds received a huge cheer as she said Oxford ‘will not be silenced’.

She added: "I have never seen this level of fear for the future of our country, but we mustn’t be frightened, because we have got people power."

Catherine Bearder, leader of the Liberal Democrat's MEPs, said the situation was 'madness' and the government is 'stealing our voices in Parliament.'

She said: "It's time for Brits to take to the streets, and be angry, and be active."

Rabyah Khan, chair of the Oxford and District Labour Party, said Oxford is a diverse city 'of sanctuary and democracy.'

The Oxford Times:

She said the move to suspend Parliament is an 'outrage' and said the country's leaders are 'hell-bent on introducing punitive policies.'

City councillor Tom Landell Mills said Mr Johnson's behaviour was 'tyrannical' and said the recent developments had been 'a tragedy of errors.'

The Oxford Times:

David Williams of Oxfordshire Greens said closing Parliament will be a ‘disaster’ and likened the move to ‘dictators’ of the past, adding: "It’s a constitutional outrage."

The other speakers included businesswoman Susan Hartman and 17-year-old EJ Fawcett of Oxford Youth Climate Action.

Speaker Ian Collard, introduced as a ‘Conservative with a conscience’ said the country’s leader’s are ‘dangerous’.

He added: “These people are not Conservatives, they’re nationalists."

Helen Mountfield QC, principal of Mansfield College in Oxford, said: “We are now governed by people who are frightened of accountability.

"This is a cheap scam and we should call it for what it is - we have to fight for our democracy."

Oxford City Council leader Susan Brown stressed Oxford's ‘proud international relationship with so many different countries.’

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She told the crowd: "We will not take this lying down -we must make sure we protect our democracy."

Lord Mayor of Oxford Craig Simmons said during his speech: "I’m sure if there ever was a revolution, it would start here in Oxford."

The Oxford Times:

He added: "Oxford is a city that benefits hugely from cultural richness. It is no coincidence that we are one of the most diverse cities, and one of the most successful, in the country."

Noting Mr Johnson's links to Oxford, Mr Simmons described him as 'one of our own, gone bad.'

Graham Jones, appearing on behalf of the European Movement, read statements from the organisation's president, Michael Heseltine, and vice president, Andrew Adonis.

Speaking via Mr Jones, Lord Adonis said: "We are in an unprecedented national crisis and this is make or break for our country."

Professor Matthew Leigh, who introduced the protest, highlighted Oxford's ties to the EU with the BMW plant and universities, and said 'we are a city with a common interest in Britain's membership.'

The protest continued until about 12.30pm this afternoon, when the crowds dispersed in the city centre.

Shaista Aziz, a member of Another Europe is Possible and one of the organisers, described Mr Johnson's move as 'an attack on democracy and parliament.'

ALSO READ: Brexit concerns about Oxford's BMW plant

The city councillor branded it a 'shameless and blatant power grab,' adding: "A true democracy is not built on a system where the privileged few hijack power to wield it against the rest of us.

"This reckless and cowardly government must step back from the brink and call a general election so the people of this city and country decide what happens next."

Hosnieh Djafari-Marbin, Oxford City Council's migrant champion, said Mr Johnson was playing a 'cat and mouse game of strategies and one-upmanship.'

The Oxford Times:

She told the Oxford Mail: "To the citizens of Oxford, whether it be the nurses I work with from Portugal, Spain or Kenya, the porter from Lithuania or the surgeon from Iran, Brexit is about our people.

"Suspending our residents’ lives in uncertainty with the threat of a No Deal Brexit is utterly unforgivable.

"Whether we voted remain or leave, we believe in a democratic Britain.

"We the people are the heart of our British democracy and we will not let our loved ones, friends and colleagues suffer with a No Deal Brexit."