Thirteen protesters stand around a petition shaped like a dove. They are holding flags with peace symbols on them.

Four-Day Peace Gathering In Castle Park

A four-day Peace Gathering last weekend brought peace activists from across the south west together in Castle Park peace grove to network, learn, and deliver a petition to Mayor Marvin Rees. 

The Gathering, organised by XR Peace and Bristol Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) officially began on Friday (August 6) with a die-in at 8.15am – marking the moment the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. 

Later in the day local protest band Bayou Tapestry drew a crowd and helped bolster spirits against the inclement weather. 

Sheltering under gazebos, attendees across the weekend enjoyed a packed schedule of 11 talks and workshops addressing nuclear war and nuclear power, migration and refugees, and Bristol’s arms industry. 

Sunday’s highlight was a talk on the 40th anniversary of the Greenham Common Peace Camp, which will be marked by a recreation of the original 1981 march from Cardiff to Greenham, passing through Bristol on August 28-29. 

The weekend also provided opportunities for networking between different groups, with XR Bristol and Christian Climate Action both making an appearance, as well as representatives of the campaign against the Hinkley nuclear power station in Somerset. 

During breaks in the weather, passers-by had fun having photos taken with XR Peace’s 5-meter-high peace symbol, most recently seen touring Bristol’s landmarks

A peace symbol, painted in rainbow colours. Three people, a man, a woman and another man, are seated in front of it, smiling at the camera.
Attendees of the Peace Gathering sit beside the giant peace symbol. Image: Rowland Dye.

On Monday the Gathering was brought to a close with a procession to City Hall to deliver a petition, shaped like a peace dove, to Marvin Rees. The petition calls on Bristol City Council to support the UN Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, and to pressure the UK Government to do the same. 

By chance, the procession ran into Marvin Rees himself outside City Hall and campaigners were able to hand him the petition in person. 

Event organiser Rowland Dye, of XR Peace, said the Gathering is important because “[w]e have a massive arms industry, particularly across North Bristol, that most people genuinely don’t know about. We’ve got the military, we’ve got the arms industry – these are fuelling conflict zones around the world…[Bristol’s] not standing on the right side of history.”

a band of 7 people: one man sings whilst others play a violin, a guitar, an accordion, and a double bass.
Local protest band Bayou Tapestry play to the crowds. Image: Rowland Dye.
Three gazebos are tied together. Underneath around 12 people sit taking part in a workshop.
A workshop takes place under gazebos during the weekend. Image: Rowland Dye.

6 thoughts on “Four-Day Peace Gathering In Castle Park

  1. So the next war is …
    The Lebanon ?
    Or will it be Iran ?
    MSN slow to report on government naval base spending in the middle east while quick to bang the war drum.
    The other thing James is that these protests you report on do not offer context.
    And again, and news on the activists protesting outside not one but two local prisons ?

  2. Intact take a look at the strap line at the very beginning of –
    Words from someone who lows what they’re taking about !

  3. Please excuse the unchecked spell checker but I didn’t have me specks with me.
    I,m sure you get the gist – fuck the industrial arms complex.

  4. Nuclear. Napalm, Agent Orange, While Phosphorus, cluster bombs bunker buster. Paveway, drones, sway of drones, mustard gas. Botulism, anthrax .after 1945 largely black/brow. people – non combatants bombed murdered , maimed. British military fighting someone, somewhere on the planet almost e ery year. Since 1945. Yet the Great War – the war to end all. wars e fed in 1918

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