Black Lives Matter protestors toppled the 125 years old statue of Edward Colston in Bristol. Colston was a 17th century slave trader. The Bronze memorial had stood in city centre since 1895
The incident took place on Sunday. Thousands of people attended the demonstration in Bristol, the protest sparked by the death of George Floyd while he was under arrest in Minneapolis in the United States last month.
The statue was pulled down using rope and was dragged the short distance to Bristol Harbour and dumped over the quayside.
Demonstrator also leaned on the statue’s neck on knee imitating the choke hold used by US police against George Floyd.
Police have launched an investigation into the destruction of the statue. No arrest were made, but officers are now said to be collating footage of a “small group of people” who were filmed pulling down the statue with ropes, which police say amounted to criminal damage.
Who was Edward Colston? (1636-1721)
- Colston was born into a prosperous Bristol merchant’s family and, although he lived in London for many years, was always closely associated with the city.
- By 1672 he had his own business in the capital trading in slaves, cloth, wine and sugar
- A significant proportion of Colston’s wealth came directly or indirectly from the slave trade
- In 1680, he became an official of the Royal African Company, which at the time held the monopoly in Britain on slave trading
Colston’s memory has divided the city for years, with some thinking history can’t be changed and others campaigning successfully for his name to be erased from streets, schools and venues. They consider him as a man whose ships sent about 80,000 men, women and children from Africa to the Americas between 1672 and 1689.