Home NewsAfrica Black Lives Matter protesters acquitted over pulling down statue of slave trader Edward Colston | News24

Black Lives Matter protesters acquitted over pulling down statue of slave trader Edward Colston | News24

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Three males and a girl had been cleared on Wednesday of inflicting prison injury for serving to to tug down a statue of a seventeenth century slave commerce magnate and throw it into Bristol harbour in southwest England through the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.

The bronze statue of Edward Colston, which had lengthy been a supply of division within the British metropolis, was hauled down throughout an anti-racism demonstration, one of many many who swept the globe within the wake of the homicide of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The incident led to different memorials of figures linked to the slave commerce being taken down in Britain or prompting discussions about their future, whereas authorities ministers stated the motion amounted to the censoring of historical past.

Not responsible

4 protesters concerned, Rhian Graham, Milo Ponsford, Jake Skuse and Sage Willoughby, all of their 20s or 30s, had been discovered not responsible by a jury of prison injury following a trial at Bristol Crown Courtroom.

They’d argued the statue, erected in 1895, memorialised a person who prospered from the slave commerce, prompted offence to individuals within the metropolis and had not been eliminated regardless of repeated campaigns.

Prosecutors stated the case was in regards to the rule of legislation and never politics, and that it was not Colston nor his slave hyperlinks which had been on trial.

Colston has lengthy been a topic of heated debate in Bristol, the place he donated lavishly to charitable causes, utilizing the fortune he made investing within the slave-trading Royal African Firm.

Years of calls by anti-racism campaigners for his statue to be eliminated had met with fierce native resistance, till protesters took issues into their very own arms.

After a couple of days on the backside of the harbour, the statue was retrieved by metropolis authorities and put into storage. It has since been exhibited in a museum within the metropolis whereas its long-term future is taken into account.

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