Bristol Greenpeace's Animal Parade to Rise For Climate Rally

Bristol Greenpeace dusted off its collection of animal costumes in readiness for an animal parade through the city centre as part of Bristol's Rise For Climate rally on Saturday 8th September.

 

We were expecting about a dozen volunteers so were overjoyed when a wonderful band of about 25 members and friends joined us at the Friends Meeting House.  It was fantastic to be joined by about 10 members of Bath Greenpeace.  A huge thank you to all those who were game for wearing our furry costumes for the procession and for the rally.  So we had polar bears, a walrus, an orangutan, a snowy owl, a gorilla and a narwhal as well as a few people wearing penguin heads parading through Cabot Circus and Broadmead shopping centres to get to the midday rally on College Green. A mother and her son had travelled up from Bournemouth t attend Bristol University' Open Day and made sure that taking part in our procession was part of their day in Bristol.

 

The rally was part of a global day of action with 850 events happening across 90 countries calling out to our local and national politicians to give more urgency towards tackling climate change - for the sake of future generations, the planet and all its inhabitants.  The Bristol rally was organised by BEAT (Bristol Environmental Activists Together) which was initiated by Fi Radford after joining forces with local groups to campaign against fracking and now involves some 28 grassroots organisations that cover a wide range of environmental areas.  It was set up initially to aid communication and support between the groups but it was felt that it was the right vehicle to bring groups together for the Rise For Climate event.

 

Up to 300 people attended the rally.  During the hour we heard speeches on the need for the urgent transition from fossil fuels to renewables, calls for clean air, divestment from fossil fuels, green jobs and clean and safe transport (incl preserving 20mph speed limits in Bristol). The Red Notes choir led us in a rousing rendition of The Song for Climate.  South West MEP, Molly Scott-Cato also addressed the crowd. 

 

At the end, most of those gathered joined in a two-minute mass 'die-in' in memory of all those people around the world who have died in climate-related disasters - including the 800 extra UK deaths brought about by this Summer's heatwave.  It was a very moving and poignant end to the event which was organised by the Grandparents For A Safe Earth group who had earlier processed silently down Park Street with a coffin.

 

The Bristol Post reported on the rally and featured several of those wearing our animal costumes.  Read it here: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/dozens-people-were-prete... 

A huge thank you to all those volunteers and friends who made our contribution to the event a success.  Photos below are care of Richard Baxter, Robbie Gillett and Alex Morss, Barry Cash and Loz Bryant