Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has mentioned all statues and avenue names with hyperlinks to slavery “must be taken down” within the wake of anti-racism protests within the metropolis and throughout the nation.
“It’s an uncomfortable fact that our nation and metropolis owes a big a part of its wealth to its function within the slave commerce,” Khan advised the BBC. “The Black Lives Matter protests have rightly introduced this to the general public’s consideration, however it’s vital that we take the best steps to work collectively to convey change and make sure that we are able to all be happy with our public panorama.”
The announcement follows a weekend of protests in the UK, the place on June 7, protesters tore down a statue of slave dealer Edward Colston in Bristol and graffitied a statue of Sir Winston Churchill in London. Right now, activists on the College of Oxford are protesting in entrance of the statue of Cecil Rhodes, an imperialist who annexed and invaded numerous swathes of land in southern Africa, made a fortune on diamond mines and who thought-about the English a “grasp race.” Khan mentioned he didn’t condone protesters breaking the legislation and advocates as a substitute for a authorized elimination course of of those statues. Protestors have signed petitions to take away statues of figures concerned in slavery, resembling Robert Milligan.
Khan has arrange The Fee for Variety within the Public Realm that can assessment London’s murals, memorials, avenue artwork, statues and avenue names, to make sure that all landmarks within the capital replicate the town’s variety.
Khan mentioned he wouldn’t specify which landmarks he thinks must be eliminated however famous that statues of figures resembling Churchill is not going to be topic to assessment by the fee, noting that “no one was good” and other people must be educated about these historic figures, “warts and all.”
The fee will probably be co-chaired by Debbie Weekes-Bernard, the deputy mayor for social integration, social mobility and neighborhood engagement together with Justine Simons, the deputy mayor for tradition and artistic industries. The fee will embody neighborhood leaders and historians.