Members of Bristol City Leaders group today (25 March 2021) issued a statement in response to disturbances in the city. Their statement is included below:
“As individuals who live and work in Bristol and represent organisations that support many thousands of people across the city, we stand together in condemning Sunday’s violent disorder.
“Those who vandalised parts of our city and injured and threatened police officers and public servants do not speak for Bristol. They do not speak for the vast majority of those who are concerned about proposed legislation changes. Their actions demean us all.
“We share Bristolians’ horror and disappointment at what they saw. We have complete confidence in the approach taken by Avon and Somerset Police, who have worked so closely with Bristol’s communities across our city during the last year.
Reasons for pride
“While we are not blind to the challenges Bristol faces, we also see every day how people, public bodies, businesses, community groups and faith communities have come together to support each other through this incredibly testing time.
“We saw it last week during the Bristol Remembers gathering, where people from across the city came together to reflect on the impact of the last year on their lives and communities.
“We see it in how public, private and civic organisations have shared experiences of life during lockdown and worked together to overcome enormous challenges and adapt to the impact of COVID-19.
“We see it in how people of all ages and backgrounds have volunteered to support the city’s response to COVID-19, and its recovery from it.
“Those positive actions, which happen every day, truly represent the best of our city. They inspire us and help us to focus on working together to help Bristol be the very best it can be.
“At a time when we need to support each other to rebuild our lives and economy, we won’t be defined by the acts of a minority. Our focus remains, as it has been through this year, on positive action and hope.
“In that spirit, we hope people can join us in sharing their pride in the city and demonstrate all that is great about Bristol. Collaborative, creative, courageous, open, inclusive and caring – Bristol is all these things and more. These qualities will not be dimmed by violence and criminality: they will be our shining light.
“As a city of hope, we continue to move forward as a city together, because #WeAreBristol.”