Extinction Rebellion Bristol will hold four days of action over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend.
Starting on Friday, August 28, the planned activities will force the closure of Prince Street Bridge to cars until the end of Bank Holiday Monday. The bridge will remain open to cyclists and pedestrians, and to harbour traffic if necessary.
The closure of Prince Street Bridge has been liaised with Avon & Somerset Police, who said: “We’re aware of plans for protest activity to take place in Bristol over the forthcoming bank holiday weekend and officers are liaising with the organisers to fully understand their intentions.
“Public safety must always be a top priority and we’re stressing to organisers the vital importance of adhering to all the legislation and restrictions in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.”
The group will focus activity on the harbourside, stretching the protest from the Arnolfini to M Shed.
The four days of action are part of a series of events across the country to build support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill that has been drafted by a coalition of activist groups.
The CEE Bill would help ensure a reduction in the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, restore biodiverse habitats, publish a strategy to achieve specific objectives on climate change and listen to specific recommendations of a Citizen’s Assembly.
“During the pandemic the government has been prepared to step up to a war footing in an unprecedented way, with economic commitments that were supported by selfless public and community action,” says Extinction Rebellion coordinator Pete Hughes.
Hughes adds: “We need the same scale and urgency of government action for the global climate and ecological crisis, which no vaccine is going to be able to fix. But UK politics based on five-year parliamentary terms just isn’t making the commitment.
“That’s why we’re having to take action now, to drive forward the solutions needed.”
The group say that the centrepiece of the action will be a large “elephant in a room”, representing the issues that those in power need to urgently address.
Animal Rebellion Bristol, a subset of the main Extinction Rebellion Group, have also put a call out on Twitter for “coffin” carriers for a “funeral march”, representing the harm of the animal farming industry has on people, animals and planet, which will take place at midday on Saturday.
Extinction Rebellion Bristol asks everyone attending the four days of action to wear face masks, keep two metres apart and bring hand sanitiser. There will also be on-site sanitation stations and face masks available, as well as ground markings for safe distancing in key areas.
Main photo: Jack Fifield