‘Clean Air For Life’ action kicks off with symbolic messages around Bristol

Photo credit: Simon Holliday

XR Bristol’ week of actions demanding clean air for life kicked off last night with the symbolic nailing of a letter to the door of Bristol City Hall.

The letter to Bristol’s Mayor and Councillors calls on Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to deliver compliant air quality for Bristol by April 2021. 

For at least 26 years Bristol’s air pollution has been above legal limits. Lockdown is the first time we’ve had clean air in the city in over two decades. But air quality monitors around Bristol are already showing pollution levels rising. 

The letter was nailed in place by a concerned citizen who herself suffers from asthma.

Bristol-based rebel and XR spokesperson, Dr Emma Geen says:

“The amount of pollution in Bristol’s air breaches European legal limits. It drastically affects our health and harms the planet – at a time when public health is more at risk than ever. 

“We have a unique opportunity to act now. Life during lockdown showed that air quality CAN improve quickly.

“By nailing our demand to the door we call on Bristol City Council to nail their colours to the mast: do they care enough for the wellbeing of all Bristolians to take the urgent action that’s needed?”

Read the full letter here >

A graph showing average air pollution in Bristol City Centre: part of XR Bristol's Clean Air For Life campaign
XR infographic using data from Bristol’s Air Quality Dashboard shows air pollution levels are already starting to exceed legal limits after lockdown

This morning rebels also erected a beautiful art installation of fifty 1m-high aluminium cubes on College Green, decorated with images of wildlife and ecology and spelling out the “CLEAN AIR FOR LIFE” message.

Bristol’s Cubes were originally unveiled outside Tate Britain in London during the October 2019 International Rebellion in London. At the time, the art gallery’s director was very willing for the installation to remain in place on their forecourt (the Tate had recently declared a climate emergency). But the cubes were taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police and have only recently been returned to their Bristol home.

Photo credit: Simon Holliday

We’re hoping this installation will remain in place until the end of the day. The Cubes will reappear at another Bristol location later in the week.

In the third action of the day, the Evergreens affinity group hung banners from Bristol Bridge in the heart of the city, reading ‘CLEAN AIR NOW’.

The banners remained in place for an hour and were then dismantled, to discourage any large gathering which could breach social distancing guidelines.

Photo credit: Richard Baxter

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