Black Lives Matter Protesters Just Dumped A Statue of Slave Trader Into The Harbour

By John Vibes / Truth Theory

Protests against racism and police brutality have swept across the world in the past week, in response to the tragic death of George Floyd, and the many acts of police violence that were seen in the following weeks.

In Bristol, demonstrators toppled a statue of the 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and pushed it into the Bristol Harbour. The statue has been a point of contention in the city for many years. In fact, Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire called for the monument’s removal as recently as 2018. Also, a petition for the statue’s removal has gathered over 7,000 signatures since circulating last year.

The site was also a target for vandalism over the years, often getting defaced with graffiti or paint.

The statue was located on Colston Avenue, a street in the city centre that is also named after the slave trader. There are many other sites in the city that are named after Colston because he donated large sums of money to the city of Bristol, and built numerous schools, hospitals, and churches. Colston Hall, a space for live performances, is currently closed, but will reopen later this year under a new name.

The official Twitter account for Momentum Bristol posted footage of the statue being dumped into the water, with a caption that read: “Bye bye Edward Colston! If anyone misses this statue they need to have a long hard think about their priorities. Slave traders are not heroes!”

Despite being responsible for the trafficking of 84,000 people, many of whom died in the journey, Colston’s history in the slave trade has been largely sanitized until recently. Even the Wikipedia entry for the slave trader speaks more of his financial contributions than his crimes.

This week, various local governments from around the world have committed to removing racist monuments. Even the Robert E. Lee statue will be removed from Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Image Credit: Screenshot BBC Radio Bristol

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