Great Britain: Slave statue toppled – protesters acquitted

Great Britain
Slave owner statue toppled – protestors acquitted

Demonstrators throw a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol Harbor. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

During anti-racism protests in Bristol, England, a statue of a slave trader will be thrown into the harbor basin in the summer of 2020. Four accused have so far been acquitted.

After a slave statue fell in Bristol as part of anti-racism protests in 2020, four people were acquitted in court.

The three men and the woman, aged 22 to 33, have been acquitted of criminal property damage charges, Bristol Crown Court announced on Wednesday at the end of a two-week trial.

During a Black Lives Matter protest on June 7, 2020, protesters overturned a statue of slave trader Edward Colston (1636-1721) and threw it into the nearby harbor basin. Although a number of protesters were implicated in the statue’s fall, only four ended up in court. A video clip showed them wrapping a rope around the statue.

The accused did not deny their role in the events in court, but did not consider their actions criminal. Instead, they argued that the statue itself was a hate crime. Defense attorneys have claimed that thousands have previously petitioned for the 1895 statue to be removed and urged the court to “stand on the right side of history”.


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