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Thousands of Street Parties Honoring Jo Cox Will Bring Britain Together

Over 100,000 street parties will aim to unify Britain this weekend in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

Celebrities, politicians, and even rival newspapers have come together to share a simple message: “we have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”

It’s been almost a year since a white nationalist shot and stabbed Cox in her Batley and Spen constituency. The mother of two, activist and politician died from her wounds shortly afterwards. The man who killed her has since been sentenced to life in prison.

The tragedy took place in the shadow of a referendum that divided the country. Unexpectedly, after last week’s snap election, Britain now stands in similar shade. Opinion is split just as radically as it was, and politics feels as polarised as ever.

But the Great Get Together will attempt to bridge that gap. And it seems to be working.

For the first time in its history, The Mirror and the Sun have published a joint editorial piece promoting the nationwide series of events, whilst the editors of the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian have written a joint opinion article too. The BBC and ITV will broadcast the same local program in Cox’s constituency.

Brendan Cox, the late MP’s widower, will open the weekend celebrations with Jamie Oliver and the Duchess of Cornwall. More than 100 organisations are officially involved, including Amnesty International and the Premier League.

“Jo’s killing was designed to do a few things,” said Brendan Cox. “It was designed to divide communities and it’s failed in doing that. It’s actually brought Jo’s community much closer together.”

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Up and down the country, there have been touching moments of unity in the spirit of the event. Celebrities from Ed Sheeran to Stephen Fry have lent their voice to the campaign. Even Ed Balls and Michael Gove, British politicians from opposing ends of the political spectrum, found time (and patience) to celebrate a shared passion: dance. Indeed, it seems that every political leader has at least one thing in common. Who doesn’t like the Beatles?

A documentary retelling the story of her death is available to watch in the UK on BBC iPlayer. In addition, a book has been released by Brendan Cox remembering his wife. All royalties will go to the Jo Cox Foundation.

You can find an event near you here. Alternatively, it’s not too late to throw your own party. Sign up now, and invite your neighbours. Even if you don’t like them. Actually — especially if you don’t like them.