We urgently need to raise £2928 for a billboard and poster campaign during the lead up to local elections in Bristol on 6th May. Our campaign will demand that the candidates commit to taking action to clean up our dirty air. The billboards and large posters will be up for two weeks from 19th April. This appeal is urgent because to be sure that we can take the advertising spaces that we have booked we need this money by the beginning of April 2021.
Our Air, Our City activists installed a stencil of lungs across the city this weekend to call for clean air.
The images were created by a technique known as “reverse graffiti” in which dirt is selectively cleaned using a stencil and a pressure washer to create a picture of the damage caused by the city’s air pollution.
Bristol’s Luke Jerram – known for his ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ street pianos and Park Street slide – created the stencil for the campaign.
He said: “Most graffiti uses toxic spray painting materials, but the clean air campaigners are cleaning off pollution to make this imagery.
“They’re cleaning up the city and making art from the absence of dirt and pollution.
“Now is the time for real leadership on all forms of air pollution, which includes cleaning up the city’s air, and preventing the expansion of Bristol Airport.”
GP Dr Patrick Hart who took part in the action explained: “The City Council have been dealing with a huge health crisis this past year. But our polluted air is another health crisis that has been going on for years – it’s just killing us more quietly.”
On the 20th Feburary residents living in Bristol’s air pollution hotspots hung banners from their houses calling on Bristol City Council to solve the city’s air pollution crisis.
The city-wide banner protest was the first action of the Our Air, Our City campaign, organised by a coalition of community, health, justice, and climate action groups representing residents from across Bristol.
The banners were unfurled in Stapleton, Stokes Croft, St Pauls, Easton, Lawrence Hill, near the BRI, Brislington, and Bedminster. The Bristol residents taking part included families who are suffering the health effects of air pollution, a Black and Green Ambassador, business owners, GPs, and mental health workers.
In February Bristol City Council announced their plans to reach clean air compliance, following several years of consultations and changed plans. They first published plans for a Diesel Vehicle Ban and Clean Air Zone in Bristol in November 2019, only to later cancel them.
Our Air, Our City welcomes the council now taking concrete action, but calls on them to commit to implementation – and to go further to secure healthy air for the whole city in the shortest time possible.
– Alice Tatton-Brown, coordinator of the OAOC campaign, said:
“We welcome the council’s announcement and hope that, this time, we will see concrete action on the air pollution in our city in the time-frame promised. But ‘legally compliant air’ is not the same as healthy air
“We hope that the council’s announcement is just the beginning of urgent and substantial action on Bristol’s toxic air crisis.”
The banners being displayed were videoed by a cyclist taking their daily exercise between the hotspots and shown on the campaign’s Facebook page. The video includes messages from the residents hanging banners, explaining how Bristol’s dirty air affects their lives.
Experts talking on the livestream include local GP Kat Newman and Bristol Clean Air Alliance. They were joined by XR activist Chloe Naldrett and well-respected London air pollution campaigner David Smith, also known as ‘Little Ninja’.
Esther Akatwijuka of Youth Strike 4 Climate Bristol said:
“There can no longer be any doubt that air pollution is killing and harming the most vulnerable in our society. And there can no longer be any delay in tackling this crisis. We need healthy air for Bristol right now.”