A huge crowd gathered at Glastonbury’s Park Stage at 4pm today (June 23) for a tribute to Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was murdered in her Yorkshire constituency last week.
On stage, singer-songwriter and social activist Billy Bragg appeared with a large group of women wearing sashes in Suffragette colours.
In the crowd, people carried placards reading #moreincommon, referencing Cox’s maiden speech in parliament. Many tabard-wearing workers for Oxfam, the charity Cox worked for before entering politics, were also present.
Bragg introduced the special event, quickly handing over to Brigid McConville of the White Ribbon Alliance, who worked with Jo and organised the tribute. She spoke of her personal reaction to Jo’s death, and said, “It feels like the attack on Jo was an attack on all of us.” Of the MP’s legacy, she said, “Jo knew that women are not only at the sharp end of all the trouble in the world, but also the solution to it.”
She added: “I keep hearing from friends and colleagues who say they are heartbroken about her death. We all thought she would be prime minister one day.”
Clare Williamson of Oxfam read a tribute from Phil Bloomer, Cox’s boss while at the charity organisation. A minute’s silence followed, after which Bragg sung ‘We Shall Overcome’, inviting the crowd to sing along too.
Concluding, Bragg spoke of the “terrible irony” of the event happening as the nation hits the polls to decide the UK’s future in or out of the EU. He drew again on Cox’s words about us having “more in common” as he said, “Whatever happens tomorrow morning, we are going to have to begin the process of healing this country.”
Many of those assembled then marched to The Sisterhood in Shangri-La, Glastonbury’s first female-only venue.
The event was postponed from its original slot yesterday, on what would have been Cox’s birthday, due to problems many festival-goers experienced getting on site.