BLM protestors on the plinth of Edward Colston’s statue June 2020.

TEAR THEM ALL DOWN. Everywhere. Lewis Hamilton (seven time F1 World Drivers Champion)

Black Lives Matter X heart X heart. Jemima (age 12)

This is the third in a series of articles written in the wake of the fall of Edward Colston’s statue in June 2020. The previous articles consisted of two fully referenced timelines, the first covering more than a century dissent and protest concerning Colston’s leading role in transatlantic slavery and the second considering the local, national and international impact of the toppling of statue. These articles, which were primarily produced for historical purposes, document significant events in the history of opposition to the cult of Edward Colston and in more general terms the contested memorialisation of slave traders and owners, colonial butchers and those who fought to maintain slavery. They demonstrate through evidence rather than anecdote (the latter so beloved by the supporters of Colston and in the right-wing media) the actual historical events before and after the fall of the statue. As such they act as objective, dynamic (as they are unfinished), source documents for future students, scholars and historians studying the context and aftermath of the momentous event one Sunday afternoon in Bristol.

The attached pdf for download follows a more subjective path in that it is a selection of comments made by members of the public, activists, sportspeople, academics and politicians about the toppling of Colston. The importance of these statements is that they often convey the feelings and emotions of the commentator rather than just platitudes or facts. These range from the revulsion and anger at having to see the statue of a leading investor and organiser of the seventeenth century slave trade every day you go to work to the joy and elation of the Black Lives Matter demonstrators in the aftermath of the toppling of Colston.

Download the list of comments.

Thanks to those members of BRHG and Countering Colston who helped compile this list.

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