We, Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (BYS4C) are a group of young people under the age of 25 from Bristol and the surroundings areas who volunteer our time to demand radical climate action. We are the Bristol branch of the movement known as YouthStrike4Climate and Fridays For Future.
Since June 2020, we have been a fully independent organisation, no longer affiliated to the UK Student Climate Network. We are not part of Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth or any other group, but we work collaboratively with others to achieve our aims. We are a non-party-political organisation and therefore do not support any particular party, but welcome the support given to us by parties.
We welcome people from across the political spectrum, as long as they support our aims, our values and act appropriately.
BYS4C was founded in February 2019, with the first strike happening on 15th February, the same as other climate strike groups across the UK. At our first strike, more than a thousand students assembled on College Green, calling for climate action. We held strikes in March and April, growing our numbers along the way.
In May 2019, we began our campaign against the expansion of Bristol Airport, holding strikes in May, June and July focusing on the issue. In February 2020, North Somerset Council voted to stop the expansion, under pressure from us and other groups.
On 20th September 2019, we took part in the first general climate strike, when adults and young people alike protested with us. 15,000 people joined us on College Green and marched through Bristol city centre that day, our largest turnout at that point.
We continued by holding strikes on 29th November 2019 and on 14th February 2020, again rallying thousands to our cause.
On 28th February 2020, only two weeks after our previous strike, we were joined by Greta Thunberg and 30,000 students and adults in calling for climate action.
In October 2020 we joined the newly set up Our Air, Our City coalition to campaign for clean air.
Two years after our first strike, we held a 'Climate Justice Online' event in February 2021, with speakers including Green politician and activist Cleo Lake, and representatives from Bristol Disability Equality Forum and Stop The Maangamizi.
After over a year of meetings and planning, in May 2021 we helped begin to rewild part of College Green using funds raised by Sustrans after our February strike.
Around the same time, we took to Instagram with videos submitted by mayoral candidates outlining their plans and views on climate action and justice, transport, the right to protest, and green spaces.
July 2021 saw our first in-person event since Covid struck, with us joining protests in Weston-super-Mare against Bristol Airport expansion.
We followed up our online event with a 'Climate Justice Day' in August 2021 at The Station, with speakers from Bristol Disability Equality Forum, African Voices Forum, and more.
September and October saw us return to climate striking, with hundreds joining us on the streets to demand action ahead of COP26. We also joined the thousands strong COP26 Coalition march through the centre in November!
In January 2022 escalated our tactics by temporarily blocking roads in the centre as part of the Youth Climate Swarm campaign.