Soundtrack to a thousand memories of roadblocks, marches and stand-offs with the police, the pounding rhythms of the samba band have arguably done more to define the feel of XR protests than anything else. In response, the government’s Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill, soon to pass into law, threatens to outlaw this staple of mass protest by specifically targeting “noisy” protests. The Bill strikes … Continue reading Drumming Up Resistance: XR Samba and the Crackdown on Noisy Protest
This is part one of a two-part series looking back on one year of Kill The Bill in Bristol and asking what lessons can be learned and what questions remain unanswered. Part two is available here. On 21 March 2021 Bristol experienced its first, explosive protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill. One year on 12 people are in prison and dozens … Continue reading Kill The Bill: One Year On – Part 1
This is the second part of a two-part series looking at the legacy of Bristol’s Kill The Bill movement one year after the first protest. You can read part 1 here. Protests continued weekly throughout March and into April. Following the appalling events of March 21 and 23 both protesters and police were wary of one another, and although relations thawed over time there were … Continue reading Kill The Bill: One Year On – Part 2
Block a road in protest and you’re criticised for stopping people getting to work. Boycott a business and you’re doing people out of a job. Prevent a harmful development – an airport, a coal mine – from going ahead and you’re denying “access to much-needed jobs.” Meanwhile, progressive movement organisers are tearing their hair out trying to connect their campaigns with “the workers”, a wish … Continue reading Bridging the Divide: Angry Workers Come to Bristol
A newly released short film explores the highs and lows of life for travellers and van dwellers in Bristol caught between rents they cannot pay and a government that wants to criminalise their very way of life. Home, released on January 22 and available to watch here, is ‘a political documentary about the effects of the housing crisis in the UK,’ said the film’s maker … Continue reading New Documentary Connects Housing Crisis, Travellers and the PCSC Bill.
In the last three years his Bigheads have become a popular sight at protests up and down the country. Now their creator Bim Mason is training others in his unique brand of performance activism. Bim’s history of art, performance and directing stretches back over five decades, from joining circus group Kaboodle in 1978, to co-founding Bristol’s own circus school Circomedia in 1994, to publishing his … Continue reading Make ‘Em Laugh: Political Theatre and Comedy as Activism with Bim Mason
The trial saw plenty of complex legal arguments, but ultimately it came down to a question of doing the right thing. With the verdict in the Colston 4 trial announced, many, not least the right-wing media and Twitterati, are asking how the defendants managed to win what seemed like a clear-cut case against them. With video evidence of them committing the charges against them, Rhian … Continue reading Colston 4 Trial: How They Won It
Campaigners face a last minute scramble to safeguard 74 mature trees on Baltic Wharf, land on which Bristol City Council plans to build luxury flats. Community group Save Baltic Wharf Trees have a deadline of Wednesday (December 22) to gather 3,500 signatures on their petition, which they say is not only about the trees, but is about council decision-making and ‘the future of Bristol.’ We … Continue reading Last Minute Race to Save the Baltic Wharf Trees
In this guest article, author and activist Zion Lights discusses nuclear power, energy justice and how activists can benefit from changing their minds. I’ve spent a lifetime campaigning for environmental and social justice issues. Over a decade ago I was arrested for protesting coal fired power stations and then again for protesting investment in tar sands. I wrote an entire book on how to live … Continue reading React Now: Pro-Nuclear Campaigning with Zion Lights.
Pamela Nova, founder of Animal Justice Emergency, talks about her journey into animal rights activism, and discusses the state of vegan activism in Bristol. When I first arrived in Bristol three years ago, as a relative newcomer to veganism, and an activist of several decades, I was keen to dive into the vegan activist scene. Returning from living in Malaysia, where I’d gone vegan and … Continue reading An Introduction to Vegan Activism with Pamela Nova