Protesters tore down the statue of Edward Colston, a slave trader in the 1700s, and threw the statue into the Bristol harbor Sunday.
Bristol, England: A statue of the 17th century philanthropist and slave trader, Edward Colston, was toppled by #BlackLivesMatter rioters who then dragged it across town and dumped it in the water. #antifa pic.twitter.com/9TNbmqp1yX
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 7, 2020
Demonstrators used ropes to pull down the statue of Colston early on Sunday morning, according to BBC. Protesters then rolled the statue down the street before finally throwing the statue into the Bristol harbor later in the day. (RELATED: ‘Get On The Floor And Kiss My Shoe’: British Teens Arrested, Charged With Suspicion Of Racially Aggravated Offenses)
Colston was a member of the Royal African Company which was heavily invested in the African slave trade in the late 17th and 18th centuries.
The Royal African Company shipped 212,000 slaves between 1662 and 1731, per Slave Voyages. Colston donated all of his earnings to local places in Bristol such as hospitals, schools, and founded donation societies, said Dolphin Society, a charity group formed by funds supplied by Colston.
This happened a few moments ago.
The Edward Colston statue has been pulled down. pic.twitter.com/E0BUxVHonc
— BBC Radio Bristol (@bbcrb) June 7, 2020
Protesters on Sunday kneeled on the neck of Colston, in reflection of Derek Chauvin’s kneeling on George Floyd’s neck two weeks ago, according to BBC. Protesters then used the empty plinth as a stage for demonstrators.
Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds spoke in British Parliament on Monday and said “I do not condone an act of criminal damage to remove it, but I will not miss a public statue of a slave trader that should have been taken down many years ago”
Fast work on Google Maps. The Edward Colston statue is now ‘permanently closed’ and relocated to the water. pic.twitter.com/7ckteDlBvj
— Martin SFP Bryant (@MartinSFP) June 7, 2020
Some people noticed that Google Maps had moved the statue from its original place and placed it in Bristol harbor with the caption “permanently closed” on Sunday. That has since been changed and the statue is back where it originally was located.