Extinction Rebellion Update 16/07/2019

The following is today’s update on the protests in the city centre:

The activity of small sub-groups is likely to continue throughout the week and we are aware of further ‘swarming’ of busy areas throughout today. However, as this activity does not seem to be co-ordinated by the Protest Leaders we are receiving less intelligence on their timing and location. ‘Swarming’ activity has continued in various locations but we are aware that the main activity will be focussed around College Green and Park Street, coinciding with the Mayor’s statement on Bristol’s commitment to address environmental concerns. The most recent information we have is that they plan to bring the centre to a standstill at 2pm with road blocks on Park Street continuing into the afternoon.

Where these road blocks have taken place already, the protestors have limited their time in the road to seven minutes and this has been allowed, prior to police engagement, to ensure the roads are re-opened. This negotiated facilitation of the protests is the Police’s intended approach, as forcibly removing a large number of otherwise passive and peaceful protestors is not a viable option from an operational policing perspective. Exercising an arrest or use of force in these circumstances would be disproportionate and usually unlawful, so as well as compromising the officers involved, it would significantly damage the ability to maintain effective communication with the protestors as the week progresses.

Protestors have, thus far, shown a willingness to limit the impact of their demonstrations, particularly in not disrupting the vicinity of University graduation ceremonies that are ongoing around College Green today and throughout the week.

Finally there is a ‘go slow’ bike ride planned for tomorrow (Wednesday) between 6pm and 8pm.