Bristol climate protest: ‘Great atmosphere’ as hundreds march on city ahead of COP26 summit

‘Time is running out to tackle the climate emergency’

Hundreds of students and young people took to the streets for a climate strike in Bristol today (Friday, October 22), marching through the city in order to ‘demand change’ ahead of COP26.

The protest is being headed up by Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (BYS4C), who are working in collaboration with Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol and student unions at Bristol University, Bath University and Bath Spa University along with the University of the West of England.

A number of speakers gave speeches on College Green as demonstrators gathered there at around 12noon this afternoon (Friday, October 22) before the march, led by a samba band, started.

The march took the protesters on a loop through the city, up Broadmead past Castle Park and back to College Green.

Following more speeches, crowds began to leave at around 3pm.

Before the event, organisers had called on students to walk out of their places of education for the event ahead of the summit in Glasgow which starts at the end of the month.

Torin, from BYS4C, spoke from the event to BristolWorld. He said: “Our main goal is to mobilise Bristolians and be part of a global movement. Time is running out to tackle the climate emergency.

“It’s a great atmosphere - I think people are excited to be out again and there is a decent turn out.

Demonstrators on College Green.

“We have four different student unions from universities in Bristol and Bath.”

BYS4C said it was unhappy about ‘empty promises’ surrounding the climate and ecological crisis in the past by world leaders, including at previous COPs, and are demanding ‘meaningful action’ be taken immediately.

It’s the group’s second climate strike in the city since the pandemic began.

The group also held a climate strike in February last year which saw around 30,000 people gather in Bristol for a rally, with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg in attendance.