December 13, 2021
From Alternative Bristol (UK)

Before we start, can we suggest this summary of the case, what is means and how we got here;

This trial is about politics, and power, and the desire of the ruling class – the Tory Government & their friends, locally that means the Merchant Venturers – to get some revenge against the topplers, whilst reinforcing their narrative about statues and the white rich men we should bow down before, and essentially telling us to never ever challenge their rule of law again. To be blunt, the Tories cannot afford to lose this trial. It won’t just ruin their xmas roasts, it’ll be a major hit on their anti-democratic & repressive PCSC Bill, and a major boost to everyone who hates the Tories & other racists. This Trial will be global news, the whole world is watching, and much of it wants to see the defendants win.

So day one of the trial saw huge local support for the accused along with a bit of a media circus with articles filed on the story from the Times of Africa to US based outlets; this is major news! The prosecution would like you to know, however, that this is not a trail about the slave-trader, Colston, no no no!

This is about criminal damage to the statue of some bloke (we forget his name? That does not matter) and you should worry about (checks notes) pavements?

What an insulting remark from the prosecution: toppling the Colston statue during a Black Lives Matter protest caused damage to pavements.

Which is odd, if this is a bog-standard criminal damage trial, that why is the prosecution were deploying a QC – the top end of the legal armoury – to prosecute the four accused people? To say this is unusual, is an understatement;

William Hughes QC usually prosecutes Homicide, Serious Fraud, Money Laundering, Organised Crime, drug trafficking, serious and historical sexual offences. So WTF is he doing prosecuting some Mickey Mouse criminal damage case in Bristol?

Fact is, it is hard to escape the legacy of slavery in Bristol – the streets are named after slavers and the institutions in the city were built by them, using the blood of slaves to power their ‘enterprise’.

When it was still standing, the Colston statue was a symbol of the structural inequalities that perpetuate society, a visual reflection of how those who work in the interests of the powerful are elevated, and a total disregard for those whose lives are trampled along the way. Whether celebrated by being immortalised in statues, street names, school names, or being awarded six figure bonuses and peerages, the message remains the same. When this inequality in representation and allocation of resources is pointed out, when the killing of Black people at the hands of police is protested against, and the corruption in politics is highlighted, one is dismissed as ‘woke’, labelled as Marxist, hounded by right wing politicians, commentators and media in personal attacks.

Indeed, when the video evidence of the act was shown, and Colston was toppled, the crowd in the court cheered, much to the chagrin of the judge;

The trail, as they say, continues.