Anti-racism protests have sparked across the world following the death of George Floyd and almost two weeks of protests in the US.
Now Black Lives Matter protesters in Bristol have taken it upon themselves to remove a controversial statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston, jettisoning it into a nearby harbour.
Black Lives Matter protesters have pulled down a controversial statue of slave trader Edward Colson in Bristol’s city centre and thrown it into the Harbour.
Protesters tied a rope around the Bronze statue, managing to topple it from its plinth in St Augustine’s Parade. Following this, the statue was rolled to the harbour and tossed in the River Avon, amidst cheers from the crowd.
The moment was captured by numerous Twitter users:
— Sam (@SamuelLiddell) June 7, 2020
Edward Colston statue pulled down by BLM protesters in Bristol. Colston was a 17th century slave trader who has numerous landmarks named after him in Bristol. #BlackLivesMattters #blmbristol #ukprotests pic.twitter.com/JEwk3qKJx2
— Jack Grey (@_jackgrey) June 7, 2020
The moment a statue of slave trader Edward Colston toppled into Bristol’s harbour. ‘It’s what he deserves. I’ve been waiting all my life for this moment’ someone told me in the moments after. pic.twitter.com/6juqVrsJ6V
— Sarah Turnnidge (@sarah_turnnidge) June 7, 2020
Colson served as deputy governor of the Royal African Company in the 17th century, during which time it’s believed that he trafficked up to 84,000 African men, women, and children, thousands of which died on the journey to the Caribbean and America. Following this, he was a Conservative MP for Bristol, donating to local schools and hospitals, and subsequently, his name prevails across the city on various streets, schools, and halls.
Colson’s statue was erected in Bristol’s city centre in 1985, however, it has been the subject of increasing controversy, and there have been numerous petitions for its removal. The statue’s toppling comes as the Minneapolis City Council announces their decision to disband the city’s police department.