Great Greta visits Bristol: here’s what happened…
On a damp Friday on February 28 2020, central Bristol ground to a halt. Normal service was suspended. Greta Thunberg, having arrived by train at Temple Meads, was talking at the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (BY24C) event.
Police said 20,000 people were in attendance (including our Creative Director Ross Merritt), although organisers believe the figure was closer to 30,000. Central Bristol’s business district was essentially shut down. For those who don’t know, Bristol is Content Coms erstwhile home, before our move to our current base in Holt.
We’ve covered Greta’s groundbreaking climate activism before in these pages, and so on this occasion it’s a true pleasure to report on her reception in our small corner of the world.
What did Bristol’s young people think of Greta?
Bristol Live reported that Bristol’s youth were delighted to see and hear Greta, with comments including, “She’s so young and she is such an inspiration.”
“It was an amazing experience just to hear her talk.” Others remarked; “I love Greta, she is amazing, the world wouldn’t be the same without her,” “Greta is my inspiration and I am so glad she is alive,” “Greta keep doing what you are doing.”
Emma, 10 and Isaak, 47, visited from Eastgate. Isaak said: “Emma had been really wanting to go and see Greta since she told me about it on Monday.” On overcrowding concerns, he said: “I wasn’t concerned. More the merrier.”
You can read more, and see pictures of Greta’s huge impact on Bristol here.
What did Greta say?
The climate activist’s speech was as passionate and compelling as ever: “This is an emergency. People are already suffering and dying from the consequences of the climate and environmental emergency but it will get worse.
“Still this emergency is being completely ignored by politicians, the media and those in power. Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises from the elected officials.”
She continued: “So what did we do during this crucial time? What will we do right now, well I will not stand aside and watch, I will not be silenced while the world is on fire – will you? World leaders are behaving like children, so it falls on us to be the adults in the room.”
“If you look throughout history, all the great changes have come from the people. We are being betrayed by the people in power and they are failing us but we will not back down.
“If you feel threatened by that, then I have some very bad news for you – we will not be silenced because we are the change and change is coming whether you like it or not.”
As usual, it was an astonishingly mature and convincing performance. Illustrating the scale of her impact, more than 20 road closures were in operation from Bristol’s Broadmead and the Bearpit across to Hotwells, Brandon Hill and Park Street.
The Content Coms view
“We are overjoyed to see Greta in our part of the world,” commented Jo Watchman, Founder and CEO, Content Coms.
“Her stark message on the pressing reality of climate simply cannot be ignored. We need more Gretas to push the urgency of the situation.
“Content Coms recently launched our Creative Climate Disclosure Report, to prove how and why we’re delivering on sustainability within our own business. This type of action, I believe, is the kind of thing Greta is calling for. Truth, and change, rather than lip service.”
Content Coms will always strive to create the most powerful messaging and communications to help our wonderful clients do their bit to mitigate the climate crisis.
And, anytime Greta wants to pop in for a cup of tea with us, she will be extremely welcome.
Photo Credit: Ross Merritt