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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Support the Colston 4 – Repeat Film Screenings

Due to people reaching out and wanting to see the films we have added this screening of the short films and the recorded Q n A On January 25th, 2021 four defendants appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court on charges arising from the toppling of the Colston statue at a huge Black Lives Matter demonstration on June 7th 2020. That toppling reflected the frustration of many about the continued memorialisation and honouring of the slave-trader Colston, despite years of campaigning to reveal the truth […]

Countering Colston comment on the first hearing of the Colston 4

Today, the 25 January 2021 four people, Rhian Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, Jake Skuse, 32, and Sage Willoughby, 21, will appear at Bristol Magistrates Court charged with causing criminal damage to the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol City Centre during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest on 7 June 2020. The BLM demonstration attracted thousands of protestors. These four young people were selected out of a crowd of hundreds who cheered as the statue of Edward Colston, a leading organiser and […]

SWINE

Not far from Queen’s Square stands the statue of Edmund Burke. Had he lived to witness the 1831 Reform Act uprising and a protestor astride the statue of one of his beloved royals all his anti-democratic bile that led him to write his Reflections on the Revolution in France would have been reinforced. It was in that book that he wrote: Along with the natural protectors and guardians, learning will be cast into the mire and trodden down under the hoofs of a swinish multitude Now as the Saint-Just […]

Kick over the statues….Colston is going…going…gone

Over the last few years in arguments over the commemoration, celebration and memorialisation of slaver-traders we have been told many times that the so-called 'traditions' of Bristol must be protected. That is code for not changing anything; names of buildings, schools and statues, which are all part of the memorial landscape of Bristol created over the last couple of centuries largely by the merchant and business elite. Well, there is another great historical tradition in Bristol, that is […]

The Edward Colston ‘corrective’ plaque

Sanitising an uncomfortable history

Colston's statue in Bristol's center.
Introduction Just over a year ago a project was launched to research, design and install a ‘corrective’ plaque on the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol City Centre. It was claimed by the originator of the idea, Bristol City Council’s Principal Historic Environment Officer, that the new version was needed to stop the statue being damaged by unauthorised ‘protest plaques’. Several of these have been fixed to the statue over the last couple of years and removed by Bristol City Council. It […]