Two members of the Extinction Rebellion group entered the water at the historic Roman Baths in Bath on Friday 17th May, to raise awareness about the ongoing climate and ecological crisis.
Amongst hundreds of tourists at the site, activists from the Extinction Rebellion movement displayed banners, took to the water and sung to demand that more is done to protect the planet’s future.
The protest began at 2pm, with two people, each holding a white rose and dressed in white, taking to the water of the Great Bath, and floating gently in the centre.
Action at the Roman Baths continued for around 45 minutes.
Ossian Radovini, a student at Bath Spa University, who entered the water said: “Throughout history we have been allowed to protest within certain parameters and boundaries, however this can take away from the voice of the people, and the power of the message.
“So we have to break boundaries through peaceful mediums, we entered the water of the Roman Baths to raise awareness to show people, look, we are willing to break laws, put ourselves at minor risks and even major risk if it comes to it, in order to share the truth of the climate crisis with everyone and to demand that our government takes this climate crisis seriously, and acts, now.”
Local resident Anna Gilliespie added: “As a mother I am really worried about climate change, so I feel the need to protest, in order that my children have a future. This action at an international historic site begs the question of what legacy we leave our children.”
Hamish Evans, a student at the University of Bath, said: “This action today symbolised the urgency of the ecological crisis whilst also bringing up the looming issues of water shortages, pollution and loss of water sovereignty.
“It is also emblematic of the rising waters which will submerge many major cities by 2050, to add to the millions of climate refugees there are currently.”
Swimming in the Roman Baths is forbidden, following the death of a young girl in 1978 who contracted meningitis. Tests revealed the presence of a dangerous amoeba in the water.
The Thermae Bath Spa uses the same hot spring water, but it is treated to make it safe to bathe in.