Black Lives Matter Bristol protesters tear down a statue of 17th century the slave trader Edward Colston

Black Lives Matters protesters in Bristol have tear down a statue of 17th century the slave trader Edward Colston

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Black Lives Matters protesters in Bristol have tear down a statue of the English merchant, slave trader, Tory Member of Parliament, and philanthropist Edward Colston as anti-racism demonstrations take place worldwide

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Colston sat on the board of the Royal African Company, which transported more than 100,000 slaves from West Africa to the Americas between 1672 and 1689; more than 20,000 of them died during the crossings.

Bristol protesters attached a rope to the Grade II-listed statue, pulled it down and rolled it into the city’s harbour, and threw it into a river.

Black Lives Matter Bristol protesters tear down statue of 17th century the slave trader Edward Colston
Image Credit Twitter @Durotrigesdig

“A crime was committed. It should not have happened” “Evidence should be gathered, a prosecution should follow” Policing minister Kit Malthouse says “a crime has been committed” and protesters who pulled down a statue of Edward Colston in Bristol should be punished

Who was Edward Colston?

Edward Colston (2 November 1636 – 11 October 1721) was an English merchant, slave trader, Tory Member of Parliament, and philanthropist.

Born in Bristol to a family of merchants that had lived in the city since the 1340s, he became a merchant, initially trading in wine, fruits and cloth, mainly in Spain, Portugal and other European ports.

In 1680, he became heavily involved in the slave trade through his membership of the Royal African Company, which held a monopoly of the British trade in African slaves.

He became Deputy Governor, the highest office of the company, in 1689. It is uncertain exactly how much of his wealth stemmed from the slave trade, though there is no doubt that he was heavily involved with it.

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Colston sat on the board of the Royal African Company, which transported more than 100,000 slaves from West Africa to the Americas between 1672 and 1689; more than 20,000 of them died during the crossings.

Know About Statue of Edward Colston

A statue of Edward Colston, designed by John Cassidy, was erected in the centre of Bristol in 1895 to commemorate Colston’s philanthropy.

Since at least the 1990s, campaigns have called for the removal of the statue, describing it as a disgraceful memorial considering Colston’s profiting from the slave trade.

Petitions circulated and, in 2018, Thangam Debbonaire, Labour MP for Bristol West, wrote to Bristol City Council calling for the removal of the statue.

On 7 June 2020, the statue was toppled and thrown into Bristol Harbour by demonstrators during the George Floyd protests in the United Kingdom.

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