Who's Who: Daniel Elkhan on the Wooferendum campaign and march
PUBLISHED: 17:15 26 October 2018
"It was really one of those 'pinch yourself' moments."
On October 7, thousands of dogs (and their owners) marched on Parliament to protest against Brexit and to call for a second referendum on any deal.
For Daniel Elkhan, who lives in West Hampstead, the campaign had come a long way since he spent part of December 25 putting “Wooferendum” stickers on bus stops and lampposts while on his way to his sister’s house for Christmas lunch.
“I’ve always come from a family who believe in speaking up for what you believe in. They were really supportive,” says the 45-year-old.
As well as being a freelance journalist, Daniel also runs a website hooking up environmentally-conscious skiiers with a way to get to resorts by train. Even as a Remainer, he wasn’t part of a political grouping. However, he felt those who still wanted the UK to stay in the EU were becoming demonised. One morning the idea came to him.
“I just woke up and just thought ‘wooferendum’ sounded like a great slogan,” he said.
Daniel then made his first placard, which said: “Stop Brexit #Wooferendum” and went out into Hampstead High Street on a Sunday morning.
“I just asked someone if their dog would pose for it. I went up to owners and told them about it, and they would say: ‘Well my dog definitely has a view.’”
From there, he went on taking pictures of dogs with his placard, and turned them into stickers, which he stuck on lamp posts, bus stops and traffic lights across Camden.
“You would stick them on bus stops, and people would start talking about it. Particularly as nearly everyone loves dogs.”
The campaign then swelled from the photo and sticker campaign to a film and eventual plans for a march. A fortuitious meeting with Gospel Oak-based Remainer Alastair Campbell got the idea extra traction before everyone gathered weeks ago.
“The march was more work than I ever thought it would be, and I thought it would be a lot of work,” he said. “I had one of those ‘pinch yourself’ moments when the photographers from the national papers were jostling for position to get photos on the day. We had made an impact, and the nationals covered us well.”
With the march now over, Daniel is now turning his attention to campaigning for pet passport rights, if Brexit goes through, and for vets from the EU to be offered citizenship to stay here after Britain’s departure.