Green Party Councillors in Bristol and the Green mayoral candidate join the voices calling for a new era to begin, now that Colston's statue, and the oppression it represents, no longer looks out over Bristol.
Edward Colston's company shipped 80,000 people from west Africa to the Caribbean and southern states. Nineteen thousand were thrown into the sea – much like his statue. By any measure Colston's crime against humanity has put the burden of history and trauma on those in the black community today through institutional and direct racism.
Councillor Cleo Lake, said,
“I have always advocated that the statue be put in a museum in an appropriate context. There have been many opportunities to do this that have been ignored. With the global movement of Black Lives Matter we could have hoped our request to have it removed would have been honoured. But in my experience of the last five years that question has always been avoided and sidelined by the administration which has resulted in this dramatic action
“Whilst the way the statue was taken down could have been different, I fully support how the incident was policed under the watch of Supt. Andy Bennett.
“The police facilitated a peaceful protest allowing people to come together and make their voices heard on a global stage about a global issue which is Black Lives Matter.”
Green Party candidate for Mayor, Sandy Hore-Ruthven commented,
“I have seen the emotion pouring out of the black community yesterday as a symbol of the old Bristol was torn down. We must make sure that this leads to real change. All of this will be for nothing if our BAME communities continue to be disadvantaged by racism.
“If communities remain poor and unheard, if the jobs and houses are not there, if people are denied opportunities simply because of the colour of their skin then we will have failed. We must redouble our efforts and continue the hard work that is needed to change our society.
“It must force us all to listen harder and learn more deeply; reach out across our divided communities, act more boldly and help us to do what is right – even in the face of resistance. If we don't then history will judge us all as it has judged Colston”.
Cllr Cleo Alberta Lake, Green Party Cotham Ward
Notes to editors:
 You can read more about Sandy Hore-Ruthven's campaign on his website www.sandy4mayor.co.uk. Sandy is male, and his surname is pronounced ‘Hoar-Riven’.
Call for council to launch green savings bonds for climate action
A Green councillor has called for Bristol Council to launch locally issued investment bonds to fund climate action projects.
Call for Bristol Council to ‘say no to the mow’ in green spaces
Campaigners are calling on Bristol council to reduce grass cutting in verges and green spaces around the city. The move would reduce maintenance costs for the Council and support biodiversity.
A million reasons to oppose Bristol Airport expansion
Following new research showing that planes have three times the impact on the climate when total emissions released at height are properly incorporated, Bristol Green councillors are calling on the Bristol Mayor to rethink his support for Bristol Airport. Bristol City Council will debate this on December 8th 2020.
Greens on WECA: Stop playing blame game and get on with negotiations
Four years after it was set up, local arguments have again flared up over the future of WECA.
Four years later - Bristol is still waiting for clean air
Four years after Bristol City Council unanimously voted to support a clean air zone for Bristol, Bristol’s Mayor has failed to deliver on his promise.
Greens support “Liveable Neighbourhoods”
Green councillors are supporting communities across Bristol who are sick of air pollution and the congestion clogging the streets outside their homes and instead want to create ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods,’ streets where people and business come first, and communities can grow stronger. Liveable Neighbourhoods are supported by a broad network of community groups, including groups representing older people, young people and children, disabled people, people advocating travel by foot or bike, and groups tackling climate change, have come together to form Liveable Neighbourhoods for Bristol https://liveablebristol.org.uk/ to call for change.
“Our house is still on fire” 2 years on from the first UK climate emergency
Marking the 2 year anniversary of the UK’s first climate emergency declaration this Friday 13th Nov, its author, Green Party Councillor Carla Denyer, has decried a lack of action saying that the clock is ticking and “our house is still on fire”.
Council adopts new housing policy for balanced communities
Following almost four years of work by a cross party group of councillors, Bristol Council yesterday (Nov. 3) approved a new planning policy which will allow the Council to support mixed and balanced communities by restricting the proportion of shared houses in areas of the city.
Bristol’s community spirit has never been more needed
Following the announcement that the rising cases of coronavirus across the country mean we will go into a month long lockdown starting on Thursday, Green councillors are supporting calls for people across the Bristol to follow new public health guidance to save lives.
Green councillor takes telecoms giant to task over disruptions
A Green councillor in Clifton Down has secured a commitment from the telecoms giant Openreach to change and enforce their practices in Bristol after raising residents’ complaints with managers from the telecoms company.
Greens sound alarm as Bristol’s air pollution bounces back
Since the end of lockdown, air pollution has begun to rise to dangerous levels again with Bristol city centre already returning to pre-lockdown levels.
Council consulting on city centre Cumulative Impact Area
Bristol Council is consulting on a new Cumulative Impact Area (CIA) in the city centre, which would set licensing restrictions on night time economy businesses like bars, clubs, restaurants and takeaways.
Helping small businesses
Bristol Council is due to step back from levying street trading fees on businesses trading in suspended parking bays during the coronavirus outbreak. Instead of daily fees adding up to approx. £7000 per year, the council will instead request a yearly charge of just £100 for businesses that seek to take advantage of the social distancing measures imposed by the authority to trade in suspended bays. The move follows persistent pressure fro
Motion on reparations blocked as other parties refuse extra time
Cleo Lake's motion calling on Bristol Council to lobby the government over historic slavery reparations and support Bristol's black cultural centres has been dropped from a council meeting
Council to consult on planning changes to prevent overconcentration of student housing
Following three years of work by a cross party group of councillors, Bristol Council is consulting on a new housing planning policy designed to foster mixed and balanced communities
Enslavement reparations needed
A Green Party motion to be debated at next week’s Bristol Council meeting calls on the Council under the Mayor’s leadership to provide more support for black cultural centres in Bristol and to lobby the government to set up an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice which would discuss reparations for the trafficking and enslavement in African people.
Rebooting democracy in Bristol
Two female politicians from different parties have been working together to reboot democracy in Bristol. Green Councillor Paula O’Rourke and Labour Deputy Mayor Asher Craig are leading the ground-breaking new approach of using citizens’ assemblies to help Bristol emerge from lockdown.
Campaigning during COVID
Bristol Green Party statement on current campaigning
Drop street trading fees for local businesses
A petition is calling on Bristol Council to drop charges for local businesses trading in suspended parking bays during the coronavirus outbreak.
#GiveNTech to combat digital exclusion
Working with institutions like Avon Fire Authority and Bristol Waste, Cleo Lake’s #GiveNTech campaign to combat digital exclusion in Bristol been providing laptops to families and individuals since its launch in May.
Greens welcome 'Downs Loop' proposals
A public consultation is under way on proposals for traffic calming and turning worn paths into an accessible loop around the Downs
Citizens Assembly to steer Bristol Covid recovery
Following a motion proposed by Green Councillors in January, Bristol Council is moving forward with plans to carry out a Citizens Assembly
WECA transport plans must “walk the walk not just talk the talk” say Greens
Green councillors have said they are disappointed that WECAs cycling and infrastructure plan “lacks urgency and ambition”.
Greens welcome first steps towards addressing Bristol’s dirty air
Green councillors have welcomed the announcement that next week Bristol bridge, Baldwin Street and Union Street will be closed to through traffic and new bike lanes installed along Park Row, Upper Maudlin Street and Marlborough Street. The changes mark much needed first steps towards improving dangerous levels of air pollution in Bristol. They will also help people move safely about our city during the pandemic by making more room for walking and cycling.
Greens respond to Council licensing changes
Bristol’s Green Councillors have expressed solidarity with communities concerned about the loss of Cumulative Impact Areas, and promised to continue to support the residents they represent.
Greens support trans rights protest 18th July
Cleo Lake welcomes new statue on Colston plinth
Bristol’s former Lord Mayor and artist Cleo Lake welcomed the filling of a ‘political vacuum’ in Bristol by a black woman and black lives matter activist.
Mayor has questions to answer on investment in clean energy
Bristol’s Green Councillors say that the Mayor has tough questions to answer about the City Leap project, which was supposed to be delivering funding for clean energy across the City.
Green Budget Amendment creates more space for foster families
The first family is already benefiting from new rooms in a pilot scheme set up by Bristol City Council thanks to Green councillor Martin Fodor’s budget amendment, which pays for extra rooms in cramped council housing. Bristol has a shortage of larger council houses – the waiting list is twice as long as for smaller properties, and families needing larger homes have to wait for around 2 years.
Cleo Lake to ask Mayor to lobby government over reparations
At a Bristol Council meeting on Tuesday 7 July, Green Councillor Cleo Lake, activist and former Lord Mayor, will ask the Mayor to lobby the government to set up a commission to acknowledge, apologise and instigate reparations for the UK’s role in the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans.