XR protestors ‘drown in fake blood’ outside Bristol University’s Wills Memorial building

The group is calling on Bristol University to stop promoting arms-based career opportunities to students

Members of the climate activism group Extinction Rebellion “drowned in fake blood” outside Will’s Memorial Building on Bristol University’s campus yesterday afternoon to call attention to links between the university and the arms trade.

The protestors from XR Youth Bristol (XRYB) claimed the University of Bristol is “complicit in the destruction of the people of Palestine” as they poured fake blood down themselves at around 12.30pm.

This comes after 13 students occupied the Victoria Rooms earlier this week, vowing to stay overnight and demanding the University of Bristol “stand against genocide” in Gaza.

via Esme Metcalfe / XRYB

As a part of XRYB’s Arms out of Bristol and off Campus Campaign yesterday’s action is now the third “drowning in blood” protest performed by the Bristol-based group.

The purpose of the protest was outlined in a speech by one of the protestors: “The University of Bristol claims to be committed to tackling the climate crisis, but its continued collusion with arms companies suggests otherwise. It is estimated that five to six per cent of global C02 emissions are from armed forces and industries, which is more than all civil aviation.

via Esme Metcalfe / XRYB

“The university maintains careers and research partnerships with arms companies, and over the last seven years it has received over 12 million pounds from companies involved in the arms trade, including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Thales and BAE systems. BAE systems and Rolls-Royce are involved in the construction of fighter jets used for air strikes in Gaza, and by continuing to partner with such companies, the university is complicit in the destruction of the people of Palestine.”

In response, a University of Bristol spokesperson told Bristol Live: “We respect our students’ freedom of speech and right to protest and our vice chancellor is always happy to meet with students to hear their concerns.

“The university’s association with a wide variety of organisations helps drive innovative research and improves our students’ future careers. All our partnerships undergo stringent diligence checks and ethical reviews.”

via Esme Metcalfe / XRYB

A spokesperson from XRYB said: “The fact that arms companies carry out other business does not negate the harm that these companies do to the environment and people.

“While we understand that UoB wants to offer a wide range of career opportunities, we believe that can be achieved without connections with arms companies. It is past time that the university career service will transition to promoting more green careers with green companies and stop encouraging students into unethical companies.”

Featured images via Esme Metcalfe / XRYB. 

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