The vast crowd fell silent as 17-year-old Thunberg said governments were acting like children so it fell upon youngsters to be «the adults in the room». Police said there were more than 20,000 at the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate event on College Green in the city but organisers estimated the figure to be closer to 30,000. «Thunberg arrived in Bristol by train and was driven to the climate strike in a red Nissan Leaf electric car. Wearing a yellow raincoat and woolly hat, she took to the stage to chants of »Greta, Greta« from schoolchildren and teenagers. »
«I will not be silenced when the world is on fire». Thunberg flagged up the recent decision by north Somerset council to oppose Bristol airport expansion as an example of what could be achieved if activists worked together. The Swedish teenager went on to join protesters, including school pupils, on a march through the city centre accompanied by a samba band. Avon and Somerset police had warned of the potential for protesters to be hurt and urged parents not to allow children to go unaccompanied.
In response to #BBC article. We've got...— Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (@bristolYS4C) February 26, 2020
✅ 60 metres of festival barriers
✅ 2 events companies supplying gear
✅ A safe zone at the front sectioned off for young children
✅ 80+ stewards
✅ An accessibility area
✅ No time for being patronisedhttps://t.co/jvvLWN7lrh
Bristol Cathedral, which sits on College Green, was ready to open its doors to anyone needing refuge but the organisers insisted they had put measures in place to make sure nobody was hurt. Just before Thunberg’s speech, an incident in the crowd prompted one organiser to call for a stretcher and ambulance from the stage. Ed Thompson, a housemaster at Clifton college, took overseas boarders aged 11-13 and the school’s «green team» to the event. The crowd was swollen by many students who missed lectures, tutorials and lab sessions to listen to Thunberg.
Some employers had turned a blind eye to workers who wanted to listen to Thunberg. The green energy company Good Energy from Chippenham in Wiltshire went further, actively telling its 250-strong workforce to join the strike. « In my last job, I had to take a day off work to go to the climate strike in October. » .
Welcome @GretaThunberg & all the young people who've come to #Bristol today— Marvin Rees (@MarvinJRees) February 28, 2020
We're a city at the forefront of action on climate & social justice & have just launched our Climate Strategy with the urgent action needed to achieve #CarbonNeutrality by 2030: https://t.co/xqFEPuYdPZ pic.twitter.com/Cr16zxIJp2