More than a thousand people, mainly wearing purple, came to Westminster to demand a fair voting system, feeling cheated by the recent election results which failed to produce a government reflecting how people voted.
Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament became fairly packed with people as the rally there called for "fair votes, fair choice" and demanded an end to the "first past the post system" which they feel the recent election demonstrated was broken and outdated.
The rally there was one of a dozen or so in towns and cities across the UK, in a movement that has sprung up rapidly through the Internet, using Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and other social networking sites. It has also attracted the backing of existing electoral campaigning groups such as the Electoral Reform Society, Unlock Democracy (incorporating Charter 88), 38 Degrees and Power2010.
Speakers from these and other organisations, politicians including MEP Jean Lambert and Martin Linton, former Labour MP for Battersea, radical comedian Mark Thomas, environmentalist George Monbiot and others from the Take Back Parliament movement all spoke to considerable applause from the crowd.
Crowd and speakers were united in finding the current proposals for a referendum on an alternative vote system failed to go far enough - and felt that they represented more an attempt to defuse the issue than to deal with it.
At the end of the rally the crowd walked across the road and tied purple ribbons on the fence in front of the House of Commons before continuing to Downing St where the Take Back Parliament petition was taken into No 10, and the rally dispersed quietly.
To many mainstream commentators and politicians, the idea of a mass demonstration in favour of proportional representation came as an utter shock - and some continue to deride it as just a few extremists who have no popular support. Seeing it close to, both on-line and in person, they may well have completely misjudged the public mood. This really could be the start of a large and growing popular movement that in the longer term politicians will be unable to ignore. Proportional Representation for the UK parliament may be an idea whose time has come.
Not gonna lie, it was an awesome protest. I'm in one of the photos on the source page too, so... yeah. Good times all round. xD