For 125 years a statue honouring a mass murderer loomed over Bristol’s city centre. Edward Colston made his fortune in the trade of kidnapping human beings and selling them into slavery. It’s estimated that he profited from the enslavement of about 84,000 Africans – 19,000 of whom died in abject misery in the holds of Colston’s slave ships.
For decades, the good people of Bristol – many of whom descended from the very people kidnapped and sold as chattel by Colston – pleaded with the authorities to remove this monument to human avarice and tribute to genocide, all to no avail.
That changed about a year ago. Fueled by the righteous anger at the systemic murder of black people by police, a crowd of thousands gathered in the heart of Bristol, tore the obscenity in question from its plinth, dragged Colston’s effigy through the streets, and dumped him in the habour.
Of course the powers-that-be read this as an affront to their authority and began a witch hunt to prosecute those responsible. Out of literally thousands of people who participated in the action, four have been singled and and charged with offences.
Fortunately, the team behind Glad Colston’s Gone has started a support campaign to ensure that the four accused have all the resources they need to mount an effective legal defence and beat the charges, including setting up a legal defence crowdfunder. Thanks to the support of its contributors, The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund has made a significant contribution to their legal defence and we would implore all those who believe monuments to slavers belong in the bottom of the sea to follow suit.