Statement on Extinction Rebellion

"The Council has been made aware that there could be a number of protests in Cardiff by Extinction Rebellion from today, August 28th, up until Saturday, September 5th. The authorities cannot stop people demonstrating, as they have the legal right to protest peacefully. However, we will be making it clear to Extinction Rebellion that it's vitally important COVID-19 restrictions are followed by the protestors at all times.

"The Council has been formally approached by the organisers to request if they can use Bute Park, Llandaff Fields and/or City Hall lawn as a camp site. This request has been refused due to the concerns we have about the potential risks such camps may create for transmitting COVID-19, as well as making sure our parks are available and safe for residents to use.

"We realise that we may be unable to stop the group setting up camp and, while we do have the powers to remove illegal campers from our parks, following discussions with the police it's felt immediate removal may not be the best option at this time and could lead to a situation more likely to aid the spread of the virus.

"Arrangements have been put in place to ensure that barriers, bollards and gates are locked to stop vehicles driving onto parkland. Park rangers will also be carrying out regular patrols and all information will be passed back to a multi-agency control room which will be set up in Cardiff Bay Police Station.

"The Council is obviously concerned about the risk of transmission of the virus, especially at a time when infection rates are spiking across the United Kingdom. We are also concerned that the protests are happening as schools get ready to re-open in the city. This is why we asked Extinction Rebellion to reconsider their protest plans.

"With all of the above in mind, the Council will work with the police to monitor the protests and to ensure that all social distancing legislation and guidelines are followed by Extinction Rebellion. Our aim is to enable the legal right to protest peacefully within the law and within current COVID-19 legislation. "