The statue of an overturned slave trader

Protesters in England tore down the statue of Edward Colston, a slave trader who died in the 18th century.

On the evening of Sunday, June 7, a crowd demonstrating against racism debunked a statue of an 18th century slave trader, Edward Colston, located in the center of the city of Bristol, in the south-west of England, according to AFP.

In the street that bears his name, the bronze statue, erected in 1895, was torn from its pedestal by ropes pulled by a group of demonstrators.

Head on the pavement, the statue was trampled, according to images broadcast on social networks and relayed by British television.

A protester was photographed kneeling on the neck of the statue, reproducing the gesture of the white policeman who asphyxiated the black American George Floyd in late May in the United States, setting off a worldwide protest movement against racism and police brutality, reports l 'AFP.

Controversial for years, Edward Colston's bronze double was then dragged into the port city, doused in red paint, and then thrown into the Avon River.

This man was a slave trader. He was generous to Bristol but he was on the back of slavery and it is absolutely abject. It’s an insult to the citizens of BristolSaid John McAllister, a 71-year-old protester quoted by the British press association.

For its part, the local police announced the opening of an investigation and the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, denounced an act "absolutely shameful".

The mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, preferred to give a more conciliatory tone in a press release. "I know that the unbolt from the Colston statue will divide opinion, as the statue has done for many years. It is important to listen to those who considered this statue to be an affront to humanity. "

Who was Edward Colston?

The man (1636-1721) was born into a wealthy merchant family. He then enriched himself in the slave trade. He is said to have sold nearly 100,000 slaves from West Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas between 1672 and 1689. Thanks to his fortune he ended the development of Bristol and good works, which has long earned him a reputation philanthropist before disgrace.

It is therefore 10,000 people who marched through the streets of Bristol, like thousands of others during the weekend across the United Kingdom.

Another event took place, but this time in London: in front of Parliament, the statue of former Conservative Prime Minister Winston Churchill and hero of the Second World War was targeted. On the base where his name is written, people said "was a racist". According to the police, there were 29 arrests and 14 police officers were injured.

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