XR Youth block Clifton Suspension Bridge: The Rebellion begins

Photo credit: Simon Holliday

At 9pm last night, the Rebellion kicked off with two members of XR Youth locked on to block Clifton Suspension Bridge, ahead of the police’s planned closure of the bridge at midnight.  

Poppy Silk, 19, from XR Youth, says:

“It appears that the police wanted to de-fuse the power of youth action by giving their permission and pre-empting our bridge closure action.

“This isn’t an escorted school excursion for us. Two of our members will be lying out in the rain tonight to block the bridge roadway, in advance of the police’s planned shutdown, to express the seriousness of our purpose.”

Bristol actions are launching the Rebellion around the UK this weekend, with XR Youth carrying out actions on Bristol’s iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge today. The main hub of activity over the weekend will be along Bristol’s harbourside, from the M-Shed at Princes Wharf, to Arnolfini on Narrow Quay, and the Bristol Amphitheatre and Waterfront Square.

As well as raising the alarm on the escalating crisis, the aim of this Rebellion is to launch the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill, which has been developed by a coalition of activists and experts. In September, we’ll be asking all MPs to publicly back the Bill.

The CEE Bill can change our course — making the Government act with the urgency we need and involving everyday people in a Citizens’ Assembly that has real bite. Read more about the CEE Bill >

Aden Harris, from Bristol’s XR Youth, who have organised the Clifton Suspension Bridge action, says:

XR Youth are taking action today to call the government to account. We need leadership and a country that’s capable of tackling and reversing the ongoing crisis. We want the government to get behind the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill now.”

From 8am today, Prince Street Bridge has been closed to car traffic and will remain so for the weekend, with a centrepiece installation of a life-sized African elephant made of re-used and recycled plywood.

Prince Street Bridge will remain open to cyclists, pedestrians, and harbour traffic as necessary.

Today’s events


  • 8am onwards: Occupy road leading up to Prince Street Bridge with cubes and our elephant. Set up site and stage. Please be there to lend a hand if you can!
  • 12pm: Christian Climate Action service. Corner of Arnolfini
  • 12pm – 6pm: ‘We Want To Live’ Photo Booth in the multi-media tent
  • 2pm – 6pm: Stage programme
  • 3pm – 4pm: Introduction to XR. Meet at Welcome tent.
  • 5:45pm – 6:45pm Culture Declares Emergency photo op on King Street (outside Bristol Old Vic) followed by procession through Queen Square to M-Shed stage for short speech and readings (on-stage from 6pm).


  • 10am – 4pm: XR Youth holding Clifton Suspension Bridge
  • 10am – 11:30am: XR Families – Giant chalk art and wonderful windsocks. All ages. Meet in the playground behind the Clifton Observatory at 10:00am. 
  • 11am – 3pm: Aged Agitators – How Clean Is Your Pension action: various locations 
  • 3pm: Animal Rebellion online panel discussion with Peter Singer. Link here
  • Rebel from Home actions for Bristol residents who want to participate from home.

Event details for the public will be available at the Information Tent near the Arnolfini.

COVID-19 and public safety

All of XR Bristol’s actions are designed to be inclusive, safe and family-friendly, with the movement taking every precaution to ensure the protests adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

All supporters have been asked to come with masks and hand sanitiser, and to observe social distancing at all times. There will also be on-site sanitation stations, extra face masks available, and markings for safe distancing in the main stage area. All gatherings will take place outdoors with safety stewards onsite to support and promote COVID-safety around the clock.

Join the action