June 7, 2020
Protesters In Bristol Topple 125-Year-Old Statue Of Slave Trader Edward Colston

Protesters in Bristol, England toppled a 125-year-old statue of notorious slave trader Edward Colston on Sunday, BBC News reported earlier today.

The 17th-century historical figure was torn down during a Black Lives Matter protest rally. The protestors used ropes to tear it down, and photos from the article show them dropping it into the Bristol harbor.

According to the publication, Colston was a notable member of the Royal African Company. The company was an active participant in the slave trade that was responsible for delivering thousands of people to the Americas from Africa.

He donated his wealth to many charities in the area upon his death in 1721. Colston's legacy remains part of Bristols' history and his name is on buildings and streets.

BBC showed a picture of a protestor posing with their knee on the fallen statue's neck in an action "reminiscent of the video showing George Floyd, the black man who died while being restrained by a Minnesota police officer."

According to CNN, the monument was first erected in 1895 and has "become increasingly controversial, with petitions created to demand its removal."

The outlet also shared a video by a Twitter user showing video footage of the pivotal moment in which the statue of the merchant slave trader actually came tumbling down.

Loud cheers from the crowd could be heard as the monument fell forward into the group, tethered by visible ropes. Several people raised their protest signs into the air as they applauded the scene.

Before being tossed into the water, several people dragged the monument through the streets. The former plinth where the statue previously stood became a makeshift stage for protestors to climb on and make speeches or rallying cries.

BBC News reported that Home Secretary Priti Patel thought the act of tearing down Colson's statue was "utterly disgraceful" and said, "it speaks to the acts of public disorder that have become a distraction from the cause people are protesting about."

Police confirmed in a statement that they would be investigating the "act of criminal damage."

Patel approved, saying that she felt it was right for the authorities to take action against those responsible, calling their behavior "disorderly and lawless."

However, some authority figures, including historian Professor David Olusoga, felt that the statue should have been removed ages ago.

While speaking with BBC News, the professor said that statues should be for people who "great things," which was not true in Colston's case as he was a "slave trader and a murderer."

Bristol Mayor Martin Rees also noted that the statue's removal would cause controversy but felt that it was "important to listen to those who found the statue to represent an affront to humanity."