Until Sunday (June 7), Edward Colston – a man responsible for transporting over 80,000 Africans into slavery – was enjoying his 125th year immortalised as a statue in Bristol. A controversial figure looming over the city, the abhorrent slave trader was finally toppled from his pedestal over the weekend and hurled into the harbour by Black Lives Matter protesters.
The video footage from the event is one of the most joyous moments from the urgent demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism, sparked by the murder of George Floyd two weeks ago.
Inspired by Bristol’s historic triumph, the Stop Trump Coalition – a group established to protest the US president’s visit to the UK in 2017 – has launched a new website called Topple the Racists, which shows you which colonist monuments need destroying near you.
“We believe these statues and other memorials to slave owners and colonialists need to be removed so Britain can finally face the truth about its past – and how it shapes our present,” the website explains. As well as discovering racist statues near them, visitors can also add problematic monuments to the map.
Each statue has a location and brief description of the person it memorialises, as well as external links for more info, and to petitions that have been set up to remove the figure.
Monuments featured include Edinburgh’s statue of Henry Dundas, who was responsible for delaying the abolition of slavery in 1792 – sign the petition for its removal here; the statues of slave pioneers, Francis Drake, Robert Blake, and Horatio Nelson, at Goldsmiths College in London; and the University of Oxford’s notorious statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes, which campaigners have been trying to get removed for years – petition here.