Black Lives Matter protesters return to Bristol to keep Colston furore alive

16 August 2020, 15:15

By Ewan Somerville

Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters have taken to the streets in Bristol for the first time since the Edward Colston statue was torn down.

Activists under the banner All Black Lives Matter Bristol began gathering at the city’s College Green at 2pm on Sunday. 

Crowds chanted "silence is violence" and "black lives matter".

They will march through the city centre to Castle Park at about 6pm, in the biggest show of solidarity since the figure of 17th century slave trader Colston came crashing down on 7 June. 

Organisers have vowed to ensure it stays peaceful.

Anti-racist protesters buoyed by the outcry following the death of African American George Floyd in US police custody pulled the statue down and dumped it in a nearby harbour - later fished out by council officials - sparking a fierce debate about other imperial-era monuments across the world. 

Activists directed by the artist Marc Quinn later erected a replacement statue on the empty plinth of Jen Reid, a Black Lives Matter protester, which was hastily taken down within 24 hours by Bristol City Council. 

All Black Lives Bristol formed to continue the Black Lives Matter movement in the city, and has held several protests and campaigns since.