Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (BYS4C) took their first in-person action since the start of the pandemic today (July 22), staging a demonstration outside Weston-Super-Mare town hall.
The action is part of three days of protest to mark the start of the public inquiry into Bristol Airport expansion, which follows the airport’s appeal against North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse planning permission in February 2020.
Standing outside the town hall, seven Youth Strikers held a banner saying “Stop Airport Expansion” whilst an eight person read out a statement against the expansion, which highlighted the disproportionate impact that expansion would have on young people.
‘As young people, we are more susceptible to the detrimental health effects of air pollution and many of us have spent our whole lives breathing Bristol’s criminally polluted air – Bristol Airport’s proposed expansion would simply put more young people at risk.’
Campaigners against the airport expansion argue that it will result in an additional 1 million tonnes of carbon being emitted into the atmosphere every year.
North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse planning permission to the airport in February 2020 was in large part based on climate concerns. Councillors voted 18 to 7 against the expansion, reflecting the balance of public opinion: 77% of responses to the public consultation were in opposition.
In a statement, BYS4C spokesperson Torin Menzies, 16, said ‘We are on the brink of an irreversible disaster – airport expansion is the opposite of what is needed.
‘Over the past two and a half years, the people of Bristol and North Somerset have repeatedly shown that we reject airport expansion in any form. Today we delivered our message yet again: Don’t Fly Away Our Future.’
Feature image: Bob Edwards.