Since Britain shocked the world last week by voting to leave the European Union, Londoners — who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the E.U. — have been signaling their discontent with the decision.
In an attempt to take matters into their own hands, some Londoners have even been calling for the capital to break away from Britain. After organizers in London scheduled a march against Brexit, they decided to cancel the event — but only because tens of thousands of people had shown interest and organizers thought it would be "too dangerous to go ahead" with the march.
The day before the Trafalgar Square rally was scheduled, local media reported that more than 50,000 people had signaled interest in attending. In an effort to unify both the "leave" and "remain" camps, organizers had changed the name of the event from "London Stays" to "Stand Together," which added more confusion.
Now another event to protest Brexit is planned and, according to local media, has already attracted over 1,000 people. "This protest is still happening. The only way it will be canceled is if Brexit is canceled," organizers told the Independent.
A petition asking for Mayor Sadiq Khan to declare London independent has drawn more than 175,000 signatures. "London is an international city, and we want to remain at the heart of Europe," the petition reads. "Mayor Sadiq, wouldn't you prefer to be President Sadiq? Make it happen!"
The day after Britons voted, Khan responded by acknowledging the need to protect the capital.
"But on behalf of all Londoners, I am demanding more autonomy for the capital — right now. More autonomy in order to protect London's economy from the uncertainty ahead, to protect the businesses from around the world who trade here and to protect our jobs, wealth and prosperity," Khan told the Independent on Friday.
The mayor stressed, however, that as much as he "might like the idea of a London city state," he wasn't talking about independence from Britain. He also told Londoners to "stand guard" against the rising incidents of hate crimes following the Brexit vote.
Londoners have also used social media to gauge interest in a "London Independence Party":
A Twitter account was even created for the proposed party, which appeared to model its logo on the anti-E.U. United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).