Black Lives Matter movement is on full display in Britain and the anti-racism protestors joined the cause by toppling Edward Colston's statue, a notorious slave trader back in the day.
The protestors attached ropes to his statue in Bristol, a city in the southwest of England, before pulling it down. Moments later, the statue crashed to the ground and hundreds of demonstrators in attendance erupted in joy.
Protesters then appeared to kneel on the neck of the statue for eight minutes, recalling how George Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25. The statue was then rolled into the nearby Bristol Harbour — again to rapturous scenes.
RT @laradiodelsur: This is how the statue of Edward Colston, a 17th century slave trader, rolled through the streets of Bristol, UK, after it was knocked down #BlackLivesMatter #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/MW3DNPMrRR— Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) June 8, 2020
Several users assembled on Twitter to celebrate the historic event.
the fish in bristol harbour when the statue of edward colston got yeeted in pic.twitter.com/sxYTor8WBp— ｕ ｍ ａ ｒ (@umxr94) June 7, 2020
I didn’t have a clue who Edward Colston was until todayBut now I know he can’t swim— Jim Caddick (@Caddicarus) June 8, 2020
No one:Edward Colston: “look like I’m going for a swim” pic.twitter.com/pJCH8Xrwxt— George (@GeorgeBangx) June 8, 2020
Evil Man Edward Colston.. Evil Statue... Now at the bottom of the sea in Bristol Channel... Where it belongs... Long May It Stay There FOREVER pic.twitter.com/L3uQyBo7mx— Jane (@Love4theplanet) June 8, 2020
This is what slave traders do/should get for their horrendous actions; humiliation, disgracing and damnation. These are the enemies of humankind and they don’t deserve an inch of respect. Their memories should be treated as the murderes they were.#EdwardColston https://t.co/fRO93mHGga— (@tummeister) June 8, 2020
A slave trader's statue thrown from the docks? Shakespeare couldn't write such poetic justice. https://t.co/Ztfe0DHPn3— Kome (@KahunaKome) June 7, 2020
Slaves taken from their homeland by Edward Colston: 84,000Slaves on Edward Colston’s ships, who died in transit and were thrown into the sea: 19,000Racists: “It’s absolutely outrageous that protestors threw a statue of Edward Colston into a river!” pic.twitter.com/IaFYMhBXNX— Damon Evans (@damocrat) June 7, 2020
You know what’s just as satisfying as Edward Colston being tossed into the harbour? The million racist tears about “erasing *our* history” from people who couldn’t tell you his first name or the basic details of his life before today.— Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman) June 7, 2020
Many others noticed an apparent change in the location of Colston statue on Google Maps - something that reportedly fixed later.
Edward Colston's statue has already been relocated on Google Maps pic.twitter.com/vugzV9nVhn— Alister Wedderburn (@ali_wedderburn) June 7, 2020
Look where Google maps places the statue of Edward Colston pic.twitter.com/jQAAL3z7Ju— Mohamed (@Mahalildn1) June 7, 2020
if you look up 'statue of Edward Colston' on Google Maps it now shows up as 'permanently closed' and in the bottom of the water pic.twitter.com/lgsGTOx9bg— Josh Salisbury (@josh_salisbury) June 7, 2020
On Google Maps the statue of Edward Colston is now “permanently closed” and shown to be in a river. pic.twitter.com/95gMybDhCF— Hasan Patel (@CorbynistaTeen) June 7, 2020
Type in 'Statue of Edward Colston' into Google Maps... pic.twitter.com/49IFnHb0Pk— Soph(isticated) † (@sophoftheyear) June 7, 2020
Colston, who was born in 1636 to a wealthy merchant family, became prominently involved in England’s sole official slaving company at the time, the Royal African Company, and Bristol was at the heart of it.
The company transported tens of thousands of Africans across the Atlantic Ocean, mainly to work the sugar plantations in the Caribbean and cultivate the tobacco fields that were burgeoning in the new North American colony of Virginia. Each enslaved person had the company’s initials branded onto their chest.
The bronze memorial, which had been in place since 1895, had been the subject of an 11,000-strong petition to have it removed. Residents, including the city's big community that hails from the Caribbean, are ashamed of what Colston represents.
(With AP inputs)