Bristol : protesters topple statue of a marchand desclaves - The Point

It had been several years that it was a problem and was the subject of many controversies. Demonstrators protesting Sunday against the racism in Bristol toppled

Bristol : protesters topple statue of a marchand desclaves - The Point

It had been several years that it was a problem and was the subject of many controversies. Demonstrators protesting Sunday against the racism in Bristol toppled the statue of Edward Colston, a merchant of slaves died during the 18th century. It was located in the centre of this city in the south-west of England in the past slavery.

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Built in 1895 in a street which bears its name, this bronze statue was blown off its pedestal by ropes drawn by a group of protesters. Once the statue to the ground, they are massively rushed over to the puddle and, according to images broadcast on social networks and relayed by the british tv.

Symbol

one of them was photographed kneeling on the neck of the statue, replicating the gesture of the white policeman who has overcome the Black american George Floyd at the end of may in the United States, sparking a movement of global protest against racism and police brutality. "This man was a slave trader. He has been generous to Bristol but it was on the back of slavery, and that is absolutely contemptible. It is an insult to the citizens of Bristol, " said John McAllister, a showing of 71 years cited by the british agency Press Association.

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The statue was then dragged in the port city before being thrown, splashed red paint, in the river Avon, under the cries of joy. The local police announced the opening of an investigation and the Interior minister, Priti Patel, has denounced an act of "absolutely shameful" and " completely unacceptable. It is vandalism, like what we saw yesterday in London ".

For his part, the mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, has adopted a more conciliatory tone in a press release. "I know that the déboulonnage of the statue of Colston is going to divide opinion, as the statue has done for many years. It is important to listen to those who felt that this statue was an affront to humanity ".

10 000 protesters

Born to a rich merchant family, Edward Colston (1636-1721) is enriched in the slave trade. He would have sold nearly 100,000 slaves in West Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas between 1672 and 1689. He then used his fortune to finance the development of Bristol and good deeds, which he has long earned a reputation as a philanthropist before the disgrace. In total, some 10,000 people marched in the streets of Bristol, like thousands of others during the weekend across the United Kingdom.

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another statue has been a target on Sunday, in front of the Parliament in London, the former conservative Prime minister Winston Churchill and the heroes of the Second world War : the inscription "was a racist" has been affixed under its name on the base. This gathering in the centre of the capital has resulted in incidents with the police in the early evening, after beginning peacefully in the early after-noon, in front of the embassy of the United States.

Updated Date: 07 June 2020, 17:33

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