Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Youth climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in a "Fridays for Future" demonstration in Hamburg on February 21, 2020. (Photo: Christian Charisius/Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

'No Time for Being Patronized,' Say Youth Climate Leaders as UK Cops Warn Parents Over Fridays for Future Protest

"Young people should not be underestimated—we have a voice and we are strong."

Jake Johnson

Youth organizers of a Friday climate protest in Bristol, United Kingdom said they have "no time for being patronized" after local police sent a letter to parents warning of inadequate safety measures for the upcoming demonstration, which teenage activist Greta Thunberg and thousands of others are expected to attend.

"Social media has gone viral with interest, which leads me to believe it will be thousands of people," wrote Bristol police commander Andy Bennett. "We have confirmation of people traveling from across the U.K. by car, bus, coach, and train. I am told in Hamburg approximately 60,000 came to see Greta speak. Whilst I am not suggesting it will be this big, you can see the scale of the potential attendance."

Bennett warned of the "potential for trips, slips, falls, and crushing" and urged attendees to take extra precautions.

Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate, which organized the demonstration, tweeted Thursday that authorities' safety concerns are exaggerated.

"But of course," the group added in a follow-up tweet, "in a public event everyone should also be aware of their personal safety at all times. Be kind to others and look out for each other."

Thunberg announced her plans to attend the demonstration in a tweet last Saturday. The Telegraph reported Thursday that the world renowned 17-year-old climate activist "had originally intended to visit London, but as the area planned for the protest in the capital was too small the organizers had recommended Bristol instead."

In a joint statement Wednesday, Bennett and Bristol City Council executive director Mike Jackson said the youth-led demonstration will likely cause "major disruptions."

"We have seen a number of protests over the last year. However this one will be significantly larger," said Bennett and Jackson. "Please do not underestimate the scale of this protest."

Willow, a 15-year-old activist from Gloucestershire who plans to skip school to attend the protest, told The Guardian that the expected size of the demonstration "shows that young people should not be underestimated—we have a voice and we are strong."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Stop Line 5': Valve Turner Forces Shutdown of Enbridge Oil Pipeline in Michigan

"We are here to protect the water, land, and air that support all life, including our own. Line 5 poses an immediate threat to our lives and these actions are taken out of necessity and in self-defense."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Delay Is the New Denial': Study Confirms 99.9% of Scientists Agree on Climate

"It's pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change."

Brett Wilkins ·


Exposed: How Pfizer Exploits Secretive Vaccine Contracts to Strong-Arm Governments

"Pfizer has used its monopoly on a lifesaving vaccine to extract concessions from desperate governments," said the report's author, urging action from the Biden administration.

Jessica Corbett ·


'A Toxic Presence in the Party': Ocasio-Cortez Joins Calls for Jay Jacobs to Resign

"India Walton is the Democratic nominee for mayor of Buffalo. No amount of racist misogyny from the old boys' club is going to change that."

Brett Wilkins ·


New Multimedia Report Details Unprecedented 'Permian Climate Bomb' in Texas

"If the Biden Administration wants to be serious about its promise to demonstrate U.S. climate leadership, it must first clean up its own backyard."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo