Protesters Pull Down Statue Of Slave Trader Edward Colston In Bristol
Protests at the Black Lives Matter gathering in Bristol today have torn down the statue of 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston. The protesters attached ropes to the statue and pulled it from its plinth to cheers from the crowd.
Once the statue was down, people began jumping and stamping on the monument, which has stood in the city since 1895.
The statue was then thrown into the harbour.
Activists have been gathering in Bristol, as in many other cities in the world, to protest against the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis.
Some of the protesters knelt on the neck of the statue, mimicking Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused with second degree murder and manslaughter following Floyd's death.
The statue has been a controversial topic in Bristol for some time, with many people believing that it should be removed. That debate, it would seem, is now over.
Ships owned by Colston carried tens of thousands of people from Africa to the Americas during the era of the slave trade.
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A petition this week asking for the removal of the statue gathered more than 11,000 signatures in the aftermath of Floyd's death.
The protesters in Bristol gathered at College Green in order to march through the city to Castle Park as part of a series of scheduled protests around the UK in order to express support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
As well as this event, there was a march from the Eastville Park to the city centre on Thursday, a mass kneel on Friday at College Green, and Bristol City Hall was illuminated purple all week.
In 2017, it was announced that Colston Hall - a music venue that also bore the name of the slave trader - would be renamed ahead of the events space reopening in 2020.
Despite that, there was still a debate around whether or not cities like Bristol - and nearly every other city in the UK - should remove symbols and figures from the slave trade era.
Last month, historian David Olusoga - currently presenting A House Through Time, which is about a house formerly owned by those involved in the slave trade - told The Telegraph that he believes the statue should be removed.
The protests themselves have been controversial as they come at a time when gatherings of more than a few people go directly against government regulations regarding social distancing.
Featured Image Credit: PA