Racism in Bristol- how far have we come?12 November 2013
50 years after the Bristol bus boycott, the End Racism this Generation campaign landed in Bristol. Hosting a pop up shop centred in the city centre’s Galleries the campaign turned an empty space into a hub of debate, discussion film and performance.
The week’s activities spread across the city from cafes to bookshops, hosting discussions on the collision of racism and sexism, community conversations about progress, and starting up BME businesses.
Throughout the week, people who live and work in Bristol explored the pop up shop, with some pledging to take action against racism in their own circles. Even Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West, stopped by to make a pledge.
Visitors who weren’t pledging took time to read and contribute to the campaign’s Racism Is… board, defining the
problem and questioning how long it would take for society to collectively end it.
However, the message wasn’t always well received. The End Racism this Generation Campaign team were threatened by far right activists towards the end of their time in the Bristol pop up shop. But this was countered by the Bristol division of the English Disco Lovers, who assisted the End Racism this Generation campaign in holding an impromptu flash mob in Bristol city centre.
Despite some turbulence, it was a good week for the campaign, with a large number of pledges made. The next locations on the pop up shop road show are Nottingham and Coventry, with an aim to provoke discussion and debate whilst inspiring local residents to end racism this generation. How have things changed for minority ethnic groups since the Bristol bus boycott? Let us know your thoughts below.