The fall of Colston – the true story

  Since the fall of the slave-trader Edward Colston's statue in June 2020 the government, institutions, local politicians and his defenders, the Society of Merchant Venturers, have all been forced to react in one way or another. What unites them is that they have all attempted to cover up years of active defence or inaction concerning the celebration, commemoration or memorialisation of slave-traders in the city. From the mouths of people directly involved in the campaigning and activism […]

The Fall of Colston – the Strategies of the Campaigns

The fall of the Colston statue on 7th June 2020 can be seen as the culmination of 100yrs of campaigning against his city centre presence, which had intensified in the last decade, and intersected on that famous day. Whilst many individuals & institutions suddenly rushed to disown him, and the impact of the toppling rippled much further away than just in Bristol, that wasn’t the end of it! Tory ministers, right-wing media, Labour politicians, the CPS and the police launched a campaign of […]

Some insights into the lives of the crew onboard the slave ship Hannibal

Slave ship Hannibal 1693-1695
An often overlooked but essential element of a slave ship, such as the Hannibal, was the requirement for a large crew in comparison to the number of sailors usually required to man ordinary merchant shipping. Sailors who were to work on slavers would be recruited by any means possible. For example, some men were offered the option by a magistrate or judge of going to prison, transportation, or work as crew on a slave ship. John Newton, author of The Journal of a Slave Trader, described his crew […]

From Lewis Hamilton to Jemima (age 12)

Comments on the fall of Colston

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 […]

Congratulations Barbados

Ripples across the Pond

Slave ship Hannibal 1693-1695
On Tuesday 30 November 2021, marking the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, Barbados proudly became a Republic. In 2020 the then governor-general of Barbados, Sandra Mason, now president and head of state, stated that "the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state." The former Barbadian high commissioner to the United Kingdom Guy Hewitt, stated in an interview that many Barbadians believe that the country was due for "a […]

Solidarity With The Colston Statue Topplers In Court

It's taken the vindictive British state and it's imperfect judicial system 18 months, but on Monday 13 December 2021 they will finally start the prosecution of just four, of the hundreds of protesters, who allegedly participated in the toppling of the Colston Statue way back on 7 June 2020. That statue toppling happened in the midst of Bristol's huge Black Lives Matter protest, as once again angry Bristolians made history and kicked over the statues. Now it's time to stand again in support of […]

The fall of Colston – a timeline of impact in Bristol, Britain and the World

From Bristol to Bridgetown

  All over the world I’ve seen grandchildren of slave masters tearing down slave masters statues – over in England they put it in the river. Reverend Al Sharpton speaking at the funeral of George Floyd in Houston, Texas, 10 June 2020. It's been quite a fortnight. Last week we had the declaration of the new Republic of Barbados (we salute you!) exactly 55 years after gaining independence from Britain, and this week, news that the jewel in the crown of the Society of Merchant Venturers, […]

Deliberately Maintaining the Silence on Slavery History

Calls for ‘an international memorial to the victims of enslavement’[1] sound reasonable, but my own experience this year uncovered a strong tendency to keep slavery history hidden. I was ambivalent last year when Colston was toppled. Of course, black lives matter, but so does history. I was apprehensive about other groups damaging historical objects. The protest, however, set me thinking, recognising my limited understanding, and eventually investigating slavery issues. Last year, I began to […]

We Toppled Colston Fundraiser – Solidarity With The Colston 4 Defendants

As the Trial of just four of the many hundreds of Colston Statue Topplers draws near, Bristolians are mobilising in their support. This Fundraiser at Trinity Center on 11th November is in support of the defendants and their Topplers Defence Fund, has been organised by Countering Colston and Glad Colston's Gone, and has the full backing of BRHG - we, Countering Colston and others will have stalls at the event. As the organisers state in their FB event: Let's show our support for those who have […]

If you are Glad Colston’s Gone – support the Colston Topplers Defence Fund!

One year on from the fall of the Edward Colston statue from it's pedestal during the Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June 2020, there's been another media feeding frenzy focused on Bristol. The iconic statue toppling event continues to buzz around the world's newswires. But let's not forget that some participants in that event remain severely under pressure from the British state and its lackeys with a Crown Court trial due to start on 13 December 2021. We support the call to #DropTheCharges. We […]