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 […]

Statement of Support for the Toppling of the Colston Statue & for the Four Colston Defendants

Early this morning, on the first anniversary of the toppling of the slave-trader and former Tory MP Edward Colston from his plinth, the campaign coalition @GladColstonsGone issued the following statement and a press release. Amidst the chatter from policiticans, celebrities and media, it will likely be ignored, not least because it calls for the charges to be dropped against the four Colston Statue Defendants. But we reprint it here in full and unedited, because it's a collective work of […]

The M Shed Colston ‘Consultative Display’ – What’s in and what’s out?

Introduction After months of secrecy instigated by the Mayor’s Office finally M Shed are launching their ‘Consultative Display” entitled The Colston Statue: What Next? For many of us the Colston statue should have been left to ‘sleep with the fishes’, where many thousands of his Company’s victims ended up during the middle-passage. But a mixture of paranoia in the Mayor’s Office about a public backlash which might have affected his chances for re-election or perhaps seeing an opportunity to up […]

Edward Colston: A century of dissent and protest

Introduction During the furore about the renaming of the Colston Hall in 2017 a number of angry letter-writers to the Bristol Post claimed that the recent protests over Edward Colston were merely a ‘flash in the pan’ and a product of ‘woke’, faddist politics propagated by people from outside Bristol. This attempt to reduce the actions of groups and movements like Countering Colston and Black Lives Matter to a particular historical moment whilst the great weight of a supposed ‘tradition’, such as […]

‘Triptych’ A poem by Marvin Thompson – Slaver Captain Phillips of Brecon (1693-1694)

A Poem by Marvin Thompson

On the weekend of 7-9 June 2020 the Brecon plaque to a slave trading captain was stripped from the wall on which it was erected in 2010. Poet Marvin Thompson was inspired to write the following poem: On the Anniversary of the death of George Floyd: Dear Brecon Town Council, A mouth drying to mud, tightening lungs and eyes on the edge of tears: that was the reaction of my Black British body when, on this wind-lash of a lockdown morning, I read who you class as a role model for my Welsh, Mixed […]

Book Launch: From Wulfstan to Colston

Severing the sinews of slavery in Bristol

Note: this is an online event organised by M Shed. Registration and booking is required via their website. Published a few days before the fall of Edward Colston’s statue in June 2020, From Wulftsan to Colston traces a thousand-year history of the involvement in slavery of Bristol’s merchants, from Anglo-Saxon times through the era of exploration and colonisation to the transatlantic slave trade and the plantation system of the Americas. During this period, Bristol’s merchant elite seized […]

History Walk: Edward Colston – why was he toppled?

An amble through central Bristol uncovering the history of Edward Colston and a century of protest and dissent

Meet at 3.30pm outside M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN Walk ends at Bristol Cathedral at 5.30pm (approx.) With the imminent launch of a so-called 'consultative display' featuring Edward Colston's statue at M Shed it seems apt to expose his involvement with transatlantic slavery and reveal the myths that were created about him and his philanthropy. This two hour walk visits churches in the city centre where, until very recently, ‘the life and work’ of Edward Colston was […]

History Walk: Severing the sinews of slavery in Bristol

A thousand year history of abolition

Meet at 2.00pm outside M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN Walk ends at Bristol Cathedral at 4.00pm (approx.) This history walk in Bristol City centre uncovers a 1,000 year history of resistance to slavery. Starting with Bristol's first abolitionist Saint Wulfstan and the Bristol 'mob' in the eleventh century this walk charts the networks of religious and political activists who led popular campaigns against slavery. From the non-conformists and radical currents in the English […]

Abolition Shed

Bristol’s memorial landscape is woeful, there’s not one statue to any of the city's brilliant women, and a complete omission of the most important of all, a major memorial to the victims of enslavement - despite citizens calling for just such a thing many times over the past three decades. Apart from a single gallery in the city’s main museum, M Shed, and a notable display to abolitionist John Wesley in the New Room’s Methodist museum, there’s no specific memorial and nothing of any scale. […]

Abolition Shed 2 – details

A Vision for former Seaman’s Mission and Chapel, Bristol Currently owned by Sam Smiths Brewery (Yorkshire) Introduction After the rejection of our plans for Abolition Shed 1, alternative locations were then considered. These had to be within the parameters of our initial vision: In a highly visible central location, where the history actually happened In amongst other visitor sites with good transport links Fulfilling these requirements, these three new locations were then considered: - The […]