A climate activist fought back tears as she apologised to a man who was unable to reach his dying dad’s bedside due to a demonstration blocking the road.
The grieving man told how he was unable to get to the Bristol Royal Infirmary before his father passed away because Extinction Rebellion protesters were blocking the M32.
He rang his local radio station on Wednesday afternoon to tell his story, which was later played to eco-protester Zoe Jones by a BBC Radio Bristol journalist.
The demonstrator became tearful as she listened to the clip, and was asked if it had made her think differently about the disruption caused by Extinction Rebellion.
A man called us to say he couldn't get to his Dad's bedside before he died because of the XR protest on the M32.
We thought they needed to hear his call...#extinctionrebellionbristol pic.twitter.com/ppPCG6manD— BBC Radio Bristol (@bbcrb)July 18, 2019
Ms Jones said she was “incredibly sorry,” adding: “I still believe that we are doing the right thing, but it’s incredibly difficult to hear stories like that.”
She said: “I shouldn’t be here stopping people from getting to hospital to see their aged father who is on death’s door. This shouldn’t be happening.
“But we are here, and this is the reality and we have to be here.”
The Extinction Rebellion group, which is calling for a climate emergency to be declared and for greenhouse gases to be brought to net zero by 2025, have been blocking major roads in Bristol and other cities since Monday as part of a week-long protest.
The story left some Bristol locals furious. Steve King posted on Facebook : "I've just been listening to BBC Radio Bristol and some poor chap had phoned in about the Extinction Revolution protests.
"His father was seriously ill in Bristol Royal Infirmary. He had a phone call from them to say that his father hadn't got long to live.
"He couldn't be with his father when he died because these protesting t****ts had blocked the M32 and he couldn't get there in time.
"The protesters have completely lost any support I may have had for their message"
Extinction Rebellion Bristol apologised to residents for the disruption, saying: “some have not only been inconvenienced but have also been deeply impacted on a personal and emotional level, and it really saddens us.
“We’re sending great empathy and love from our community to them.”
“Despite this, we were there to cause disruption because our government isn’t acting on the climate and ecological crisis. And it is a crisis – that has very real and immediate human consequences.”