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Extinction Rebellion Youth ‘hand themselves in’ at Bristol Police Station

Student activists from Extinction Rebellion Youth (XRY) have 'handed themselves in' at Bridewell police station in Bristol today.

By Billy Stockwell, Climate Correspondent

Student activists from Extinction Rebellion Youth (XRY) have ‘handed themselves in’ at Bridewell police station in Bristol today.

Around fifteen activists turned up at the station to ‘declare their criminality’, in response to comments made by Home Secretary Priti Patel last month.

The Home Secretary claimed that XR activists are ‘so-called eco-crusaders turned criminals’ who pose an ‘emerging threat’ to the UK’s way of life.

A protestor standing outside Bridewell police station during the action today | Billy Stockwell

The government also considered classing Extinction Rebellion as an ‘organised crime group’.

Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol, the under-30s group co-ordinating this action, came into the spotlight in August this year when two members ‘locked on’ at Clifton Suspension Bridge, resulting in its official closure for four days by Avon & Somerset Police.

Speaking to Epigram before the protest, University of Bristol physics student Poppy Silk said today's action was to ‘stand in solidarity with other protest groups’ by highlighting how the police uphold an ‘unjust system’.

‘The police are stopping people’s rights to peacefully protest, which affects everyone, not just XR.’

Another University of Bristol student, Charlie, said: ‘Avon and Somerset Police claim to ‘Serve. Protect. Respect’ but neglect to mention that this doesn't apply to everyone.

‘We want to bring attention to the injustices of the system, of which the police play a vital part, shown by the over-policing of XR protests and BLM protests to an even greater extent.’

Speaking out on the comments made by the Home Secretary, college student Eddie said that it is ‘not true’ that XR activists are organised criminals, but rather ‘scared young people who are crying out in desperation for [their] future’.

Extinction Rebellion Youth begin four-day protest by blocking Clifton Suspension Bridge
Opinion | XR have been doing what is necessary to tackle climate change despite the pandemic

‘I care about my future, and for the future of our children, and for that I am labelled as a criminal.’

Protestors were advised to wear masks and social distance from others during the action.

Featured Image: Epigram / Billy Stockwell

Do you agree with the action taken today by Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol?