Hamilton calls for worldwide removal of statues of slave owners


A slave trader's statue is no more after British protesters ripped it down Saturday and dumped it in a harbor, the BBC reports.

One protester kneeled down on its neck after it fell, in a nod to Floyd, who was killed when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes while three other officers both looked on and, in two cases, helped.

Now his Victorian memorial lies at the bottom of the city's harbour, torn down in anti-racism protests that have swept across the Atlantic from the United States.

Colston, whose 18-foot (5.5-metre) bronze statue was taken down, was a slave trader in the 17th century.

The incident, which grabbed worldwide headlines, came a day after a largely peaceful protest in London became violent around 10 Downing Street, where flares were fired at police.

The company sent into slavery hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from West Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas.

Opposition Labour peer Andrew Adonis said Britain had been "too slow" in removing statues of slave traders and "imperial criminals", while former finance minister Sajid Javid of the ruling Conservative party said it was criminal damage.

The toppling of the Colston statue, erected in 1895, has been likened to Saddam Hussein being famously knocked over in Baghdad, Iraq.

Rapper, actor and filmmaker Ice Cube retweeted images of the statue ending up in the harbor with the words "One hood".

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As well as this, Colston's School, an independent school in the city, was founded by the slave trader in 1710.

Footage of the moments after the statue crashed to the ground saw hundreds, if not thousands, of local Bristolians, in ecstasy.

She flagged that authorities agreed to add Colston's involvement in the slave trade on the statue's plaque in 2018 but that no changes had yet been made.

The Bristol City Council announced Monday it had collected the protest signs demonstrators laid around the statue's now empty pedestal to preserve them for later display in a Bristol museum.

In a statement, Historic England said it had been engaged in "local conversations" about how the statue could be reinterpreted to tell "the full story".

Williams underlines that the Colston statue's case epitomises "so numerous big questions we must confront in this country as so much of this country's riches gained in the past stem from the misery of others". In addition, Bristol's home of music is called Colston Hall but the venue has revealed that it considers a name change.

After toppling his statue, protesters danced on the momument, yelping in delight before dragging it through the streets and dumping it into a nearby habor.

"I would never pretend that the statue of a slaver in the middle of Bristol, the city in which I grew up, and someone who may well have owned one of my ancestors, was anything other than a personal affront to me", said Rees, who has Jamaican roots.

Many people in the city believe that it should have been taken down and put in a museum many years ago.

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