This past Sunday on June 7th, anti-racist protesters in Bristol fervently strung ropes around the (in)famous statue “celebrating” the legacy of 17th century historical figure Edward Colston, dragged the statue through the streets and tossed it into the harbour.
Colston was a prominent slave trader.
Despite remaining a point of contention in Bristol for a significant period of time, the bronze figure of Colston had remained standing as a significant historical landmark in England – to be blunt, a landmark of Britain’s horrific history of colonialism.
Why the statue had remained standing for so many years is beyond many of us, considering that Edward Colston has his legacy rooted in the 17th century slave trade: being known as one of the most prominent slave traders in this abhorrent part of history, a member of the Royal African Company, a trade that trafficked African peoples to the Americas.
Many landmarks in England are named after this man, with Bristol’s Colston Hall, an acclaimed concert hall and venue being one of them. The Hall first opened as a concert venue in 1867 and the venue gained massive popularity in the rock music community in the 1960’s.
Following the anti-racist protests that have erupted around the globe in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Hall released a statement announcing their solidarity with the protesters and with the removal of Edward Colston’s statue being the clear final push, the venue has announced they will finally be changing their name.
See their statement below:
Following the Black Lives Matter protests and the removal of the Edward Colston statue in #Bristol yesterday, we would like to reassert our commitment to changing the name of Colston Hall and give an update on the timescale for doing so. (1/6) pic.twitter.com/p45R0Y5dFb— Colston Hall (@Colston_Hall) June 8, 2020
This is a historic moment in history. The video of Colston’s statue being removed linked below:
Anti-racism protesters tore down and threw a bronze statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston into a river in Bristol, England on Sunday as thousands demonstrated across the UK over George Floyd's death https://t.co/aWXfAaMujd pic.twitter.com/1ZLwYdOjU3— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 8, 2020
Feature Image: Free To Use Image / Unsplash via Gabe Pierce