Click here for info on getting involved and supporting the protest, See the end of the article for daily updates! Last update 05/02
Bristol City Council and Mayor George are set to kick off our city’s year as the green capital of Europe by cutting down trees and tearing up some of the areas best agricultural land. Feel free to read that again. The site in question is home to Feed Bristol, Stapleton Allotments, Sims Hill Shared Harvest and a not insubstantial amount of wildlife, and will have large sections destroyed to make room for the ‘ever popular’ metrobus scheme (formally BRT).
Apparently the £54Million being spent on metrobus will encourage more people out of their cars and on to busses. We probably would’ve tried something more radical like providing an affordable, reliable, frequent bus service. I guess that’s why we’re the domestic extremists.
Bailiffs and security arrived on site today in an attempt to secure the area around the trees due to be cut down tomorrow, but hadn’t managed to successfully work out where the trees were. Turns out they were on the wrong side of the fence (apparently £54million doesn’t buy you competence). Dozens of people who use the sites, live in the areas or just plain don’t like to see some of our cities best areas ruined were quick on the scene. It didn’t take long for folks to get up into the trees and create some make shift rigging, whilst supporters bellow handed up equipment and food (the bailiffs were not amused, but could do nothing to prevent it).
If you can spare any time please get down to the site on Frenchay Park Road (map) or email rising up land to see how else you can help. Various parts of the site may be off limits/inaccessible at various times, so keep a look out for the areas that will be kept open. There are already a wide range of people on site, anyone can chip in. I’m sure any climbing gear, outdoor gear, food & drink would go down a treat.
AFed members have been on site all evening and should be able to bring you updates throughout tomorrow so keep and eye on our twitter feed for the latest info on what the protesters and pixies are getting up to 😉
Update – Day 2 (2nd Feb)
The contractors and bailiffs spent most of the day looking a bit unsure as to what their purpose was. Rumour has it that legal wrangling over the boundaries between plots of land is holding things up. The rest of us on site were by contrast a hive of activity. People arriving early or staying over night began work before sunrise, replacing some of last nights hastily constructed perches with more substantial structures in the trees. A morning meeting smoothly established some basic tactics and site organisation. Signs were painted, paths marked out, structures erected, back gates secured, and defences created. Before dusk a respectable camp was growing and the kitchen was serving up its second hot meal of the day.
Update – Day 4 (4th Feb)
Still no aggressive moves by bailiffs or security, and all of the woodland remains intact. Support from resident in the area and from those further afield continues. Several people hosted a skill share on rope safety, tree climbing and abseiling today, if you missed it there are plans for another one next week!
Update – Day 5 (5th Feb)
In one of his most ironic actions so far, Mayor George attended a tree planting ceremony just down the road from the site. He was met by a dozen or so protesters who presented him with a letter of concerns from them and others in the community whose voices he has so far ignored. The whole thing was kept very fluffy as there were a number of young children at the ceremony.