There’s plenty to be angry about in the world right now. The cost of living crisis, the end of abortion rights in the US – and the support for that decision here in the UK – and the ever-present spectre of climate and ecological collapse.
The good news is that Bristol has something for everyone when it comes to fighting back. The first two weeks of July are set to be exciting as the city rallies in support of strikers at St Monica Trust, where staff are threatened with pay cuts of up to £3,500, then against the decision by the US supreme court to overturn Roe v Wade, and later in the month against the commercialization of Pride.
Find below dates of protests and link to events. If you have an event that is not listed below please let us know in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, July 2
There will be a day of action as part of the St Monica Trust strikes on Saturday from 11.30 at the Greenway Centre, Southmead.
Care staff are striking at St Monica Trust homes across Bristol over proposed cuts to pay and changes to their working conditions which they say will reduce their ability to adequately care for residents.
Just weeks ago, St Monica didn’t even have a union rep, and many staff were non-unionised. Since the changes to pay and conditions were announced, union membership has tripled and staff have taken what is for many of them the first industrial action of their lives.
There will be pickets at St Monica care homes on the following days:
- Tuesday, July 5
- Sunday, July 10
- Monday, July 11
- Tuesday, July 12
Sunday, July 3
Since the decision of the US supreme court to overturn Roe v Wade and end the half-Century right to abortion in the US, solidarity protests have happened across the world.
On Sunday, July 3, Bristol joins the wave with March for the Right to Choose, starting at 2pm on College Green with a demo followed by a march.
A statement released ahead of the protest says: ‘The demonstration is not organised by any specific individual or organisation, but is a result of a grassroots movement throughout Bristol.’
The statement points out that restrictions on abortion are not unique to the US but exist across Europe.
‘Abortion access is still restricted in Northern Ireland and is not fully decriminalised in the rest of the UK. We have seen an increase in anti-choice protestors outside UK abortion clinics in recent years, and the Scottish government has had to implement 150m buffer zones outside clinics to protect patients from harassment and abuse.
‘It is possible anti-choice counter-protest may try to disrupt the demonstration, but with these vital and hard-won rights being rolled back in the US and Europe, we must take a stand against regressive policies in the UK as well.
The demonstration will be a space in which those affected can come together in sadness, fear and anger at what is happening, as well as share individual experiences.’
Tuesday, July 5
Hold Up Your Hands UK and Bristol-based End Male Violence return for a second demo outside the Bristol Civil Justice Centre and Family Court, Redcliffe Street on Tuesday, July 5, from 12.30.
The demo seeks to highlight what campaigners see as harmful practises by the court in cases of children and families facing domestic abuse.
A report by The Observer and The Guardian earlier this year suggested that many women are losing custody of their children after leaving abusive partners. Court rulings against mothers rely on questionable psychological profiling which can cost thousands of pounds to overturn.
At a demo outside the family court on June 13, a spokesperson for Bristol Feminist Collective said: ‘Behind closed doors and protected by secrecy, the courts are re-traumatising domestic abuse survivors and making decisions that harm children.’
Their demands for the court include compulsory training of judges on domestic abuse and greater transparency and accountability of judge’s decisions.
Saturday, July 9
Bristol’s annual Pride celebrations return after covid and Saturday is the day of the Pride march.
It has been a growing concern for many years that Pride has become over-commercialized and a tool for corporations to “pinkwash” themselves.
This year, Bristol Pride will feature an anti-capitalist bloc to protest the cooptation of the movement by corporations.
A post on the encrypted platform disroot site says:
‘Why have an anti-capitalist bloc at pride?
- ‘Because we are fed up of companies and politicians draping themselves in rainbow symbols while their system drives us into poverty, with many LGBTQ+ people hit particularly hard due to systemic prejudices.
- ‘Because these same companies inherit their power and profits from a blood-soaked colonial system which tried (and still does) to impose its gender and sexuality norms around the world.
- ‘Because none of us is free until all of us are free – there can be no real or lasting liberation within a system based on exploitation and domination.
- ‘Because Pride started as a bold challenge to that system, and it’s that which inspires us.
- ‘Because all the social advances we enjoy today had to be worked and fought for by those on the margins – and we can only hope to defend our gains by remembering these roots.
- ‘Because now, more than ever – as GRT [Gypsy, Roma, Traveller] communities, BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and People of Colour] folks, trans people and sex workers come under attack from new laws, schemes and bigotries that make us all less free, while the rich try to make us all pay for their system’s crisis – we need to come together to organise and build the connections and confidence that will allow us to fight back.
- ‘Because we believe in a future beyond all this, not just as an imagined future utopia, but built together from the moments of joy and liberation we can find today.’
Protesters will meet by St Peter’s church at 10am on July 9. The march is due to begin at 10.45.
Wednesday, July 13
Time to Declare, a series of talks on sport and the climate crisis, continues with a look at the Hit for 6 report.
The landmark report will be presented by its author, Russell Seymour, sustainability manager at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The event is free and open to all. It is held at the Gloucester County Cricket Ground.
This is the third of four talks in the Time to Declare series, organised by the Bristol Dodos, an amateur cricket club which aims to spread the message of the climate and ecological crisis through sport.
Talks so far have focused on high-carbon advertising in sport and facts and solutions to the crisis. The final talk in September, presented by Roger Griffith, will explore the colonial legacies of cricket.
Saturday, July 16
Join Bristol Defend Asylum Seekers Campaign (BDASC) for another demo to say “refugees are welcome here”.
Previous demos have all been well-attended and feature speakers from political parties and groups working with refugees.
The demo comes a week after it was announced that the navy is threatening to leave its partnership with the home office to patrol the channel for small boats carrying refugees.
Controlling the channel to deter crossings and apprehend those that do cross was the jewel in the crown of Priti Patel’s strategy to appear tough on immigration. The withdrawal of the navy would leave that plan, and Patel’s reputation, in tatters.
The demo will be held at the former Colston plinth from midday until 1pm.
Saturday, July 30
XR Bristol lead a day of protest against the expansion of Bristol Airport.
It was recently announced that the High Court appeal into the expansion will be heard in Bristol, not London, much to the delight of campaigners.
Opposition to the expansion has always been strong. Thousands submitted objections during the planning process and thousands more signed petitions and attended rallies and protests.
XR’s demo will be a test of how strong the opposition remains now that the process is dragging towards its fourth year.