Rebellion on the Bridge

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | Black & White, Events, Protest

Extinction Rebellion Bristol 2019 - activists gather to march

For five days in July activists from Extinction Rebellion occupied Bristol Bridge. I walked past, and through it, most days. What is usually a busy, traffic choked part of town had been transformed into a carnival over the river. A pink boat stood in the middle of the bridge along with an array of solar panels and a sound system. Part of nearby Castle Park had become a massive tented village with a kitchen and workshop space. It always seemed to be busy when I passed through. One afternoon Billy Bragg turned up and played a short set by the boat drawing a large audience. As I was coming from work I had my small Sony RX100 II camera on me. This was during the long heatwave in July and it was very sunny and bright. This made it hard to see what was on the screen clearly. I do miss having a viewfinder but despite this I can still take some great photos with it.

Extinction Rebellion 2019 - The boat on Bristol Bridge

There were protests and road blockages which inevitably angered and upset some. On the whole it seemed most of the protests caused minor disruption throughout the week. One morning though, throughout rush hour, they blocked one of the main entry points into Bristol. This did not go down well. I’m not convinced that making people very late for work in the morning helps your cause.

Extinction Rebellion 2019 - Billy Bragg plays on Bristol Bridge

The five days wore on. At the end of it the rebellion was dismantled and every trace removed, all gone. And Bristol Bridge returned to its usual traffic choked state as if nothing had happened at all.