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George Floyd death: Protesters tear down slave trader statue

A slave trader’s statue in Bristol has been torn down and thrown into the river during a second day of anti-racism protests across the UK.

It comes after largely peaceful demonstrations in central London on Saturday saw some clashes with police.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick urged protesters to find another way to make their views heard.

But thousands of protesters in London are protesting outside the US Embassy for a second day.

Protesters in Bristol used ropes to pull down the bronze statue of Edward Colston, a prominent 17th Century slave trader.

Colston was a member of the Royal African Company, which is believed to have transported about 80,000 men, women and children from Africa to the Americas.

On his death in 1721, he bequeathed his wealth to charities and his legacy can still be seen on Bristol’s streets, memorials and buildings.

After the statue fell to the ground, a protester posed with his knee on the statue’s neck – reminiscent of the video showing George Floyd, the black man who died while being restrained by a Minnesota police officer.

Mr Floyd’s death has become the rallying point for hundreds of ant-racist demonstrations across the globe.

The Colston statue was then dragged through the streets of Bristol and thrown into the river Avon. The empty plinth was then used as a stage for protesters to make speeches.

Historian Prof David Olusoga told BBC News that the statue should have been taken down long before.

He said: “Statues are about saying ‘this was a great man who did great things’. That is not true, he [Colston] was a slave trader and a murderer.”

As well as Sunday’s mass protest outside the US Embassy in Nine Elms, near Vauxhall, south London, other protests are also taking place in Manchester, Nottingham and Edinburgh.

Some 10,000 are believed to be protesting in Bristol. Many bore placards bearing George Floyd’s name alongside slogans such as Black Lives Matter and ‘I Can’t Breathe’.

Protesters appeared to be ignoring warnings from both the police commissioner and Health Secretary Matt Hancock not to congregate and risk spreading the coronavirus.

‘Proud of young people’

But Labour’s Lisa Nandy backed the demonstrations saying people “cannot be silent in the face of racism”.

The shadow foreign secretary said young people were “right to raise their voices” but urged demonstrators to take precautions and socially distance amid fears that the mass gatherings could prompt another spike in coronavirus cases.

Ms Nandy told the BBC’s Andrew Marr she was “proud” of young people demanding change following mass anti-racism protests across the UK on Saturday.

“I think it’s one of the most important things about living in a free society is that people can go out and protest,” she said.

Officers injured

Protests on Saturday were largely peaceful, but some clashes broke out between police and people gathered near Downing Street in the evening.

Missiles and fireworks were aimed at police and bikes were also thrown by some demonstrators.

The Metropolitan Police said 14 officers were injured, including a mounted officer who came off a horse as it bolted down Whitehall, with a further 13 hurt during demonstrations earlier in the week.

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21 Comments

  1. Reply

    Nice update thanks

  2. Reply

    Good

  3. Reply

    It’s worth it

  4. Reply

    This guy’s death is something else

  5. Reply

    Justice for Floyd

  6. Reply

    dis guy is a star o

  7. Reply

    Nice information
    Kip me updated on more

  8. Reply

    Spoiling the statue won’t bring back George Floyd

  9. Reply

    good one

  10. Reply

    This is good

  11. Reply

    Nice info

  12. Reply

    Awesome post

  13. Reply

    That’s good

  14. Reply

    Very interesting article

  15. Reply

    Wonderful update. Justice is all they need

  16. Profile photo ofSommycruz

    Reply

    Pay back time

  17. Reply

    This is getting serious

  18. Reply

    They are taking it seriously

  19. Reply

    Perfect
    Thanks for sharing

  20. Reply

    Nice exposure

  21. Reply

    Thanks for sharing this update

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