OK, fair enough, Extinction Rebellion are going to do something over the bank holiday weekend to annoy the rest of us. Fair enough, that’s what they do. It’s also true that the police have a duty to protect the XR swampies as being torn apart by enraged citizenry is illegal.
So, yes, OK:
Avon and Somerset Police said the Clifton Suspension Bridge would close from midnight on Thursday because of the Bristol protest, and could be shut until 6am on Tuesday at the earliest.
Well, perhaps, because of course being launched at speed off that bridge has been the death of many a peep. so, this is to protect the XR people from righteous vengeance, yes?
Acting Chief Inspector Rob Cheeseman said: “We cannot risk any protest activity impacting on the bridge which is currently used by around 10,000 to 12,000 vehicles every day, in addition to pedestrians and cyclists.
“We know from experience that Extinction Rebellion have engaged in disruptive tactics which have not been disclosed in advance to our liaison officers and we have to take all necessary steps to mitigate the impact this action could have on the safety of the public using the bridge.”
Late on Thursday, XR Youth said two members had blocked the bridge, securing themselves to the structure, and intending to stay there all night.
But police said two women were arrested just before 11pm and the bridge was now closed to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
Sorry, what? And when did Avon and somerset Plod become insane. Yes, obviously, given that their recruitment area covers Keynesham they’re going to be a little slow off the mark but seriously? Two folk chain themselves to a large bridge and so the entire bridge is out of action for four days?
This is ludicrous. For what has just been indicated there is that if you stick a couple of little old ladies on a bridge anywhere then that closes it. It’s now necessary to have only 100 people to bring the entirety of – say – London to a halt. Two on each of the bridges then they’re all closed for four days and you’ve some 80 to go cause problems elsewhere as well.
A few snips with the bolt cutters, The XR peeps over the side and Bristol’s back and open. And why wouldn’t a police force do it that way? At the very least if someone is going to block something we should make sure they actually have to motivate enough people to actually block it, not just some token presence.
My own solution would be a little more inventive, true. Our XR pair can be left there chained to the bridge. We just put a little red light there so others can see them. Are warned not to accidentally swerve the truck into them. That light powered by a nice little portable diesel generator. The exhaust of which is aimed squarely at the XR protestors chained to the bridge.