A protest in Bristol city center which caused travel disruption on Thursday was a precursor to wider civil action and disruption, Bower News has been told.
The appointed “legal observer” for the event on behalf of the Rising Up Network, indicated that the protest was a ‘training action’ for wider civil disobedience in the capital ‘aimed at causing transportation collapse’.
The event which took place opposite the Bristol Hippodrome lasted for 10 minutes and had been agreed in advance with Avon and Somerset Police.
The aims of Thursday’s protest were to highlight air pollution along the A38 and the lack of action taken by the city council to reduce it.
On 31 October, the group Extinction Rebellion will issue an official ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ with the intention of further ‘non direct violent action’ for two weeks from 12 November with the promise that ‘If no constructive response is made by the government then an escalation of disruption and sacrifice will take place’.
Peaceful protests have brought about change in Bristol in the past. The Bristol the bus boycott of 1963, protested against the non employment of Black and Asian bus drivers and led to the first black bus driver in the UK being appointed. This is in stark contrast to 2011’s ‘Tesco Riots’, which ended in violence and were ultimately unsuccessful.
Extinction Rebellion are organising over 100 public meetings and talks around the country in the coming months.