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Slave trader statue toppled in Bristol
Via Twitter @AlAviram

Please enjoy these memes on the slave trader statue toppled in Bristol

Protesters made history by pulling down the city’s controversial figure of Edward Colston, a man who was responsible for transporting over 80,000 Africans into slavery

Yesterday (June 7), protesters in Bristol made history by toppling the bronze statue of slave trader Edward Colston, as part of Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the city.

In video footage from the monumental event, activists can be seen pulling the statue from its plinth by rope, before rolling it through the city and into the harbour – each moment met with roaring cheers from the watching crowd. One protester knelt on the statue’s neck for eight minutes, marking how George Floyd was murdered by law enforcement two weeks ago (May 25).

Colston was a board member and the deputy governor of the Royal African Company, where oversaw the transportation of approximately 84,000 Africans into slavery. It’s believed around 19,000 of these people died in the company’s slave ships during the Middle Passage, and their bodies were thrown into the water to be eaten by sharks

In a powerful op-ed for The Guardian, historian David Olusoga wrote: “The historical symmetry of this moment is poetic. A bronze effigy of an infamous and prolific slave trader dragged through the streets of a city built on the wealth of that trade, and then dumped, like the victims of the Middle Passage, into the water.”

The statue has been a point of contention in Bristol for decades, with those campaigning for its peaceful removal always thwarted by Colston’s defenders. To this day, the slave trader’s name is still prevalent in the city, memorialised on streets and buildings. 

Today (June 8), music venue Colston Hall has reasserted its 2017 pledge to change its name, writing on Twitter: “The current name does not reflect our values as a progressive, forward-thinking and open arts organisation – we want it to be representative of the city, a beacon of its values of hope, diversity, and inclusion.” The venue – which is currently closed for construction – has announced that it will remove the external signs and announce a new name by autumn 2020.

The protests in Bristol are part of the global uprising against police brutality and systemic racism, sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis. As a result of the killing, the US is seeing its biggest civil unrest in over 50 years.

There has, rightly, been little to laugh about over the last two weeks, but the destruction of an abhorrent statue that has loomed over Bristol for over a century has offered a hopeful and joyous moment amid urgent protests for equality. In honour of the statue’s demise, here’s a round-up of some of the best memes about its toppling.


I feel bad for the fish that now have to look at Edward colstons statue ##colston ##colstonstatue

♬ original sound - joefloww_