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Greta Thunberg’s visit to Bristol

I walked through cold and rainy, traffic-free Bristol from Old Market to College Green with my young mentee and hoards of children and parents, to wait for Greta Thunberg who we couldn’t really see for umbrellas or get closer because of crowds and mud. With Bristol closed for business and traffic, he couldn’t understand why someone would want to cause so much disruption… there must be other ways to make a point.
He actually loved the atmosphere, the crowds and excitement, and we stood for an hour in rain, waiting and listening, then did the full slow march around Bristol centre. He was happy, gluing himself to the amazing oompah band where people were singing, chanting, dancing and having fun, greeted with huge cheers and shouts in intermittent rain.
People from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, London and (sshh, even parts of the EU) walked and danced, while others stood on bus shelters, balconies, climbed scaffolding, danced on rooftops, waved from windows… so noisy. Most of the fifteen storeys of balconies on Colston Tower were occupied by people cheering us on. He loved it. Me too.
Back on College Green, we left to find a friendly place for a pee and snacks then walked back to Old Market and caught a bus home as traffic started running again.
4 to 5 hours? I was soaked through, my knees still feel broken but I’m so glad we did it. A historic day we’ll both remember. With no persuasion from me, I think he might have learnt something.
I love what I do.

Tony Wilson, BOPF Trustee

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