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Bristol Professor who was arrested during protest said it was ‘fine’

He described being arrested to being in his office

A Bristol University professor who was arrested after spray painting a government building has called his time behind bars "a bit like being in [his] office."

Professor Colin Davis, a member of Bristol's Psychology department, ended up in a police cell after a demo with the climate action group Rising Up on Saturday. Prof Davis and others sprayed messages on the walls and windows of the Environment Agency building near College Green.

The move was part of a civil disobedience campaign called Extinction Rebellion, which made headlines for shutting down parts of London last month.

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The man himself

In a public talk to over 100 students on Wednesday, Prof Davis said his own arrest was a small price to pay to get the message out.

"We have a duty as citizens to rebel", he said before adding that the police were "very nice" as they took him in.

"They gave me a coffee. I sat in my cell, read my book. It was a little like being in my office but I didn't have to worry about email."

Speaking to The Bristol Tab, the professor underscored his radical credentials by outlining just how hard he had to try to actually get arrested.

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A sheet found at Davis' talk

He described police officers arriving after he'd already channeled his inner Banksy. With no proof of who had done the spraying, the cops were ready to walk away, before Prof Davis popped open his spray can once more and embellished his earlier design with some new details.

"He didn't even put me in handcuffs", Davis said of the police officer who took him in. "He said 'look, I can see you're a reasonable bloke, but you're going to have to come with me' and then put me into a van."

And is he facing any charges?

"We'll see what happens", said the Prof, playing it cool as ever.

We also asked him about Bristol Uni's climate credentials. A commitment to going carbon neutral is a start he says but "academics fly a lot so I don't know how it's going to happen."

If you want to get involved in Rising Up, check out their socials or pop into a weekly meeting after Christmas: Thursdays, 5pm at the Multifaith Chaplaincy.