Bristol

Statues dressed with gas masks for pollution protest

Statue with gas mask Image copyright Let Bristol Breathe
Image caption The masks have been placed on statues across the city, including on Queen Victoria

Anti-pollution campaigners have placed gas and dust masks on statues to protest about poor air quality in Bristol.

The protest accompanies an online petition calling for Bristol to "breathe clean air".

In May, the World Health Organisation named Bristol as one of 40 UK and Irish towns and cities to breach air pollution safety levels.

The matter is due to be discussed by the city council.

Figures including Cary Grant, Queen Victoria and Ram Mohan Roy have been seen with the protective masks.

Campaigner Deb Joffe said: "We are highlighting the level of support for policies that let Bristol breathe.

Image copyright Let Bristol Breathe

"Clean air isn't a luxury, it's a basic human need."

The protesters say pollution is above legal and safe limits and urgently needs to be reduced.

They have asked Bristol's Mayor, Marvin Rees, to follow the lead of cities such as London, which has plans for an ultra-low emission zone and establish Bristol's own "clean air zone".

Green party councillors have submitted an urgent motion for discussion by the council.

Image copyright Let Bristol Breathe
Image caption Cary Grant was among the statues targeted by protesters

Southville's Green councillor Charlie Bolton said: "All around the city centre people live, work and visit Bristol whilst breathing in dangerous and illegal levels of air pollution.

"This is having a serious impact on our health.

"This stunt gives people a playful reminder that this issue is serious and that this council must live up to its promise and clean up our city's air."

The council said it would issue a statement once the meeting has concluded.

Image copyright Let Bristol Breathe

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