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8 Jun, 2020 11:33

Churchill next? Tearing down of British slave trader statue prompts wave of suggestions for further destruction

Churchill next? Tearing down of British slave trader statue prompts wave of suggestions for further destruction

After protesters in the city of Bristol dramatically tore down a statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston on Sunday, a wave of suggestions for whose effigy should be destroyed next has been unleashed.

Colston made the bulk of his vast fortune with the Royal African Company (RAC). The company had a monopoly on the West African slave trade and it branded its RAC initials on the slaves’ chests. His statue was sent to a watery grave when demonstrators threw it into Bristol Harbor on Sunday.

Also on rt.com WATCH protesters TEAR DOWN statue of slave trader in Bristol

The striking scenes have prompted a raft of suggestions for further demolitions, as some in Britain have suggested that the country should attempt to come to terms with its blood-drenched history. Winston Churchill, Oliver Cromwell and imperialist Cecil Rhodes have led the nominations, while Margaret Thatcher, prime minister from 1979 to 1990, also drew some fire.

The incident has again exposed how many Britons view their own history in a positive light while everyone else in the world has a much more jaundiced view. The case of Oliver Cromwell serves as a clear-cut example. In the UK, Cromwell is celebrated for making England a republic, while in Ireland he is seen as a genocidal maniac because of his brutal conquest of the country.

Some also called for a reassessment of Winston Churchill and a statue of the politician was defaced during protests in London. Churchill has long been glorified for leading Britain through World War II.

However, his legacy in India is defined by policies that contributed to the Bengal Famine of 1943, which resulted in up to three million deaths. He was also known for expressing disparaging views about a range of peoples and religions including Indians, Africans, Irish, Hinduism and Islam.

A famous statue of Churchill on London’s Parliament Square was defaced during demonstrations on Sunday, with Churchill crossed out and the words “is a racist” scrawled underneath. However, a group of volunteers later showed up to clean the monument and it remains intact. At least for now.

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