Upcoming Events in May

We end April with news that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has passed through Parliament and will soon become law.

However, true to form Bristol doesn’t miss a beat and the rhythms of resistance and protest continue. May is packed with protests against state oppression and events and festivals imagining a better future. 

This page will be updated as and when we become aware of new events, so do check back regularly. And if you know of an event we’re missing then please email thebristolactivist@protonmail.com

May 1

Bristol trade unions, led by the Trades Union Council, will gather for their annual May Day parade. Meet at Castle Park at midday for a march through Broadmead. 

Later in the afternoon head over to Base in Easton for their Art fair and fundraiser, raising money for Kill The Bill Defendants. Doors open at 2pm. 

Any submissions for the fair can be emailed to wholemilkjelly@gmail.com.

People march carrying trade union banners.
Trade unions at the May Day march in 2021. Image: James Ward.

May 3

Kill The Bill protester Indigo appears in Bristol Crown Court on a charge of riot. Supporters are planning to gather outside the courthouse from 8.30. 

Twelve people have already been sent to prison for anything up to 14 years for taking part in the protest of 21st March 2021. 

A list of Kill The Bill prisoners and their contact information as compiled by Bristol Defendant Solidarity.

May 6

Toby Shone appears in Bristol Crown Court. Charged in November 2020 with terrorism offences for being involved with anarchist website 325nostate.net, Shone was eventually released after no evidence was given to back up the charge. 

The Counter Terrorism Unit is not prepared to let Shone go that easily, however, and are applying for a Serious Crime Prevention Order, which would allow police to control SHone’s use of computers, phones and bank accounts for five years after he is released from prison. The Order can be renewed indefinitely.

A solidarity demo is planned outside the courthouse from 8.30. 

Read an interview in The Canary with Toby here

May 7

Organised by Bristol COP26 Coalition, the Bristol Climate Summit comes to town on May 7. A day of talks, workshops and discussions with headline appearances by Jeremy Corbyn and Trevor Ngwane, South African anti-apartheid activist.

Other speakers throughout the day include Steve Clarke of Bristol Airport Action Network, Alina Sladkierwicz of XR Youth, and Seb Munoz of War on Want. 

Bristol Climate Summit is held at The Station, Silver Street with a simultaneous livestream. Tickets can be purchased here

A poster for the Climate Summit which boasts Jeremy Corbyn as a guest speaker. Image: Bristol Climate Justice Coalition.

May 13

Bristol Transformed, one of the biggest events of the city’s radical calendar, is back after a Covid hiatus. 

Bristol Transformed is a festival of socialist politics, arts and culture bringing together activists, trade unionists and leading figures on the left. 

Confirmed speakers for this year’s festival include: 

  • Chris Saltmarsh, co-founder of Labour for a Green New Deal
  • Koshka Duff, lecturer in social and political philosophy at the University of Nottingham
  • Mark Bould, author of The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe Culture and professor at UWE
  • John Pegram, founder of Bristol Copwatch
  • Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
  • Bristol Green councillor Emma Edwards. 

Tickets can be purchased here

May 14

Trans Pride South West are organising a protest against the government’s recent refusal to include trans people in a ban on conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy refers to practises that seek to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity. Methods range from therapy or prayer to more extreme forms of physical violence. The government has pursued plans to ban conversion therapy for gay people but has left trans people out of the plans.

A Facebook page for the protest states: ‘The government’s own figures show that trans people are nearly twice as likely to be at risk of experiencing the harmful & degrading practices of conversion therapy. A ban needs to ensure all forms of conversion therapy are banned.’

People are asked to gather in central Bristol from 11am until 12.30. The protest location is to be released at a later date.

Find full event details here.

Guaranteed to make you ask: why didn’t I know that before? Bristol Radical History Festival returns (again after a Covid hiatus) to the M-Shed with a packed day of talks, workshops, films, walks, singing and exhibitions. 

Highlights include a walk with Countering Colston exploring the recent history of opposition to the “Cult of Colston” and the events leading up to 7th June 2020. 

The one-day festival is split across two themes: state and private surveillance of labour and social movements (1792 to today), and hidden histories of post-war Britain (1945-51). Both are sure to leave you looking at Bristol, and the world, in a different way. 

The festival is free and open to all. Full details can be found here

May 27

Looking further ahead in the month, Angry Workers hold a general meeting for both members from across the UK gather and for non-members, too.

The two-day event will explore climate change, revolution and past and current imperialist tensions. 

Angry Workers have a programme of events running throughout May. Find all the details at their website.

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What are we missing? If you have an event or protest coming up in May let us know at thebristolactivist@protonmail.com

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