06-08-2020, 04:17 PM
Thousands of people attended anti-racism protests in the U.K. over the weekend, with gatherings in cities such as London, Bristol, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
On Sunday, 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 transported about 80,000 men, women and children from Africa to the Americas.
After the statue was toppled, a protester was pictured with his knee on the figure’s neck — reminiscent of the video showing George Floyd being restrained by a Minnesota police officer. The statue, which has been a source of controversy in Bristol for years, was later dragged through the streets by protesters, and thrown into the harbor.
The pulling down of the statue has sparked widespread debate in the U.K. and around the world.
Bristol mayor Marvin Rees, Europe’s first Black city mayor, told BBC Radio Bristol this morning: “I can’t and won’t pretend the statue of a slave trader in a city I was born and grew up [in] wasn’t an affront to me and people like me.
“I think circumstances came to a head at this particular moment in time and people felt the need to take the statue down.”