London, United Kingdom | AFP |
Campaigners in London sent a rallying cry to Americans on Thursday to get out and vote in the forthcoming presidential election and avoid getting “Brexited”.
Dressed in hard hats and high-visibility vests to symbolise danger, activists gathered outside the British parliament to issue a warning to US citizens: “vote or regret it”, drawing parallels with Britain’s referendum on leaving the European Union.
“We really want to make sure that Americans don’t wake up on November 9 with election regrets having not turned out to vote,” said Bert Wander, a campaign director for the Avaaz activist group.
Campaigners insisted they were not telling Americans how to vote, though many were vocal in their opposition to Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Saskia McCulloch, a New Zealand citizen living in London, said she could not register in time to vote in the EU referendum — residents from Commonwealth countries had the right to vote — and “felt distraught” at the result.
“Brexit came down to a million votes. If I had known it would be that tight I would have done everything I possibly could to be registered and voting,” she said.
Meredith Alexander, a joint US-British citizen living in London, and a campaign director for Avaaz, said: “If you look at the fear and hatred that Donald Trump trades on, a lot of those same messages were used here in the UK” during the Brexit campaign.