January 14, 2022
From Alternative Bristol (UK)

Well what a week that’s been! Who could have guessed that the Tory Government, and so many media commentators, would so completely lose their rag over this case?

But lose it they did, quite simply because they do not like to lose, and when they do they’ll do anything to distract from the real issues with a mix of bullshit, bluster, threats & lies. A case of minor criminal damage to a 125yr old statue dedicated to a racist mass-murdering slave-trader, is of course a convenient distraction to the harm the Tories are doing to this country by their mis-management, greed/corruption, and class hate. Yet within a week they’ve created a totally new distraction all by themselves, as a result of their ‘do what we say not as we do’ attitude…and being caught out. Not so much caught with their pants down (think the Pervert Prince – another useful distraction), but caught in a garden with drinks & 30+ people, when the rest of us were being threatened/arrested/fined if we so much as met up with a couple of friends down the park! A pox on their class.

The magnificent Trial of the Colston Four verdicts have generated an avalanche of misinformation and outright lies, so befitting the bitterly fought, manufactured, culture wars. Many of them have been related to the legal issues & law at play in the case; others at the Tories shock that a Trial they so desperately demanded…came up with a verdict they don’t like. On top of that is the fact that the Black Lives Matter movement & it’s allies, that the Tories so demonised, has been seen as both justified & the victor in this one, and it is. That really hurts the Tories & their essentially racist class because they don’t like their sense of supremacy challenged. So if need be they’ll bend the law, or invent new ones, because they can. Laws? They make ’em, we’ll break them!

Now rather than ask you to wade through almost 10 days of wall to wall coverage, here’s a carefully selected mix of media – bringing you clarity, legal info & facts, analysis, and just a wee bit of our bias. Remember folks, knowledge is power, to fightback with!

one woman of the week

1. Films/podcast
Post-Trial press conference (1 hr, you tube) with Rhian Graham (defendant – in pic); Raj Chada (lawyer); Cleo Lake & Christine Townsend (Countering Colston); Jen Reid (activist) + facilitator Rob Mitchell
The Colston 4 film (11 minutes – on Vimeo. A longer 30 or so minute version is due out today, maybe!)
Kick over the statues, Bristol 7.6.2020 & 5.1.2022 (5mins, you tube)
Tangent Calling podcast with Mark Steeds & Roger Ball on the Colston case & history (podcast, 50mins with authors of ‘From Wulfstan to Colston‘)

2. Legal articles – there’s been much fury from Tories & their ilk, but most have no idea of the law. Read these & you’ll know better!
Do the verdicts in the trial of the Colston 4 signal something wrong with our jury system? 10 things you should know‘  (The Secret Barrister – in-depth look at the law & trial processes)
Suella Braverman accused of politically driven meddling over Colston Four (Guardian – how & why could the Attorney General refer the case to the Court of Appeal)
Colston Trial – Judge’s Directions & summary (The Barrister Blogger –  Also here)
On Jury verdicts (Politics Home website)
Jurors see the bigger picture: activists who were cleared in court (Guardian – short history of similar Jury verdicts, showing there was nothing novel or new about this one)
A thought experiment on criminal damage (The Secret Barrister makes up a similar case for a law study)
Secret Barrister unpicks the trial of the Colston 4 as well as public reaction to the verdict (25mins, you tube)
A rare radical Jury in the 19th century acquits in the case of a dead cop (Past Tense radical history)

2. Society of Merchant Venturers
All Bristol Radical History Group articles on the Marchant Venturers
First national article to report calls for them to disband (The Independent)
SMV need to get out of our democracy (Bristol 24/7 article based on comments by councillor Christine Townsend)

3. Selection of articles
Countering Colston website (updated with new sections)
All Bristol Post articles related to Colston (back to 2020 only!)
All Bristolian Colston4 Trial articles
All Alternative Bristol articles re Colston
Path of resistance: a timeline of protest against Edward Colston (Guardian – credits BRHG)
All recent Guardian articles related to Bristol/trial
After the freeing of the Colston Four, Bristol celebrates with trepidation (article by local activist/journo woman Priyanka Raval for GalDem zine)
The ‘Colston 4’ Won by Invoking History – and Using It to Build a Strong Legal Defence (Priyanka Raval for Novara Media)
Museums Association – ‘History on trial’: Sector reacts to Colston verdict
Edward Colston statue: Toppled artwork ‘now worth £300,000’ – 50 times its original value (Sky News!)
Class, Race & white saviours – a critique (Media Diversified – Writers of Colour)
Britain’s BLM statue (history, info & podcasts)
The Colonial Money Trail (History Workshop Journal)
The legitimacy of unlawful protest (an academic jumps through some hoops!)
All Canary UK Bristol articles
All Bristol Cable Colston 4 articles
That’ll keep you going over the weekend. But if you get bored and need a laugh…just read any interview with Bristol Mayor Rees – the contortions of a tormented Tory-lite ego sitting on the fence is a marvel to behold.

#GladColstonsGone? Of course you are (unless you’re a racist or a tool of the boss class) – but now move on, there are plenty more icons, memorials, institutions, organisations & class enemies to topple. Make it your new year’s resolution!
(all images – by AltBristol or internet scavenged)

Source: Alternativebristol.com