Black Lives Matter protests and George Floyd memorial service

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In the UK city of Bristol, protesters on Sunday pulled down a statue of a 17th-century slave trader while demonstrating in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The demonstrators tied the 5.5-meter (18ft) bronze statue of Edward Colston, with rope before toppling it, to cheers from the surrounding crowd.

Activists were later seen rolling the statue to the nearby harbor and throwing it into the River Avon.

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Colston, who was born in Bristol in 1636, was an active member of the governing body of the Royal African Company (RAC) for 11 years, assuming the top role of deputy-governor from 1689–90.

The company, which had a monopoly on the west African slave trade in the late 17th century, was involved in the selling of tens of thousands of west African people in the Caribbean and the Americas. 

Colston, who is described by the Museums of Bristol website as a “revered philanthropist / reviled slave trader,” later donated some of his wealth to charitable causes, such as schools and hospitals, a process through which his name became synonymous with certain Bristol landmarks.

The statue of Colston had stood in Bristol’s city center since 1895 but had become increasingly controversial, with petitions created to demand its removal.

Elsewhere in the UK: Massive protests, with people numbering in the thousands, also took place in other major UK cities like London and Edinburgh.

At least 12 people were arrested at the protests in London, police said late Sunday.



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