The festive period promises to be a restive one for Bristol with a schedule of protests running throughout advent.
No fewer than nine protests and vigils are planned over the coming weeks, with the Colston 4 trial and Police Bill developments taking centre stage.
If you know of a protest taking place that is not listed below, please contact email@example.com.
A vigil will be held on College Green between 5-7pm to coincide with protests in London outside the House of Lords as the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill enters its report stage in the House.
An advert for the event reads: “bring candles, songs, drums and speak if you feel moved to. Placards could reflect on the loss of our right to protest, the increase to stop & search, the criminalisation of traveller culture, or reference the rights won through protest.”
Another seven people will appear at Bristol Crown Court for pre-trial hearings in relation to Kill The Bill protests in March. Another two may appear for sentencing on charges of riot.
Ten people have already been sentenced, some to more than three years on charges of riot, with a further 30 people charged and dozens more arrested.
Supporters will gather outside the court from 8.30am.
From 2pm, the week’s second Kill The Bill vigil will be held on College Green. It is organised by Bristol Peace Vigil, who have run events on College Green every week since April to engage with the public about the PCSC Bill.
Friday’s Peace Vigil falls on International Human Rights Day and will focus on issues of human rights violations in the UK. There will be a programme of speakers, poets and musicians throughout the afternoon and evening.
Full event details here.
Organised by Bristol University Amnesty International, a Together With Refugees demo at 12pm at the Fountain Steps will focus on the Nationality and Borders Bill currently before Parliament.
TBA reported on a similar demo in October. At that demo, organiser Jo Benefield said that they were trying to make the public aware of legislation being passed in their name, and to challenge the ideas being promoted by Priti Patel.
The Nationality and Borders Bill would make illegal many routes by which migrants and asylum seekers currently arrive into the UK. It would also open the possibility of offshore detention centres.
Full event details here.
Running simultaneously, Glad Colston’s Gone will stage a short demo outside the headquarters of the Society of Merchant Venturers in Clifton from 12pm.
In an Instagram post, Glad Colston’s Gone said: ‘The Society of Merchant Venturers is comfortable as an unaccountable organisation, and in 2021 there is no place for this sort of shadowy power holder in Bristol.’
The demo comes ahead of the start of the trial of the Colston 4. During his lifetime, Colston was a member of the Society and questions have been raised over the years about the role that this opaque organisation has played in sustaining the myth of the slaver as “one of the most virtuous and wise sons” of the city.
Monday, December 13, is the first day of the long-awaited trial of the Colston 4.
Glad Colston’s Gone will be leading support outside the court from 8.30am and throughout the trial, which is expected to last up to two weeks.
For legal reasons, Glad Colston’s Gone request that attendees avoid speeches, chanting and flyering during the trial, and that placards focus on support for the defendants
Full event details here.
Local residents of Kingsdown face the loss of their community sports and leisure centre after a decision made by Marvin Rees to close it.
Cotham ward councillors Guy Poultney & Mohamed Makawi, both of the Green Party, say that the decision was made without involvement of the local community or councillors, which they say is ‘unacceptable.’
A protest will begin on College Green at 3.30pm for supporters of the sports centre to show their opposition to the Council’s closure plans.
A petition to save the sports centre is available to sign here.
Later in the day, ACORN Bristol take action as part of their Unlock Our Toilets campaign to re-open public toilets closed in Bristol by the Council.
Activists plan to form ‘the world’s longest toilet queue’ inside City Hall during the cabinet meeting and to present their demands to councillors.
Bristol Sex Workers Collective mark International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers with a vigil to remember sex workers who have lost their lives to violence.
The event comes as campaigners continue to resist attempts to close Bristol’s sexual entertainment venues (SEVs), with Bristol Women’s Commission calling for a “nil-cap” policy and Bristol City Council consulting on the issue.
Friday’s vigil is preceded on Thursday night by online event Save Our Strip Clubs, an evening of ‘sex worker performance and socialist stripping.’