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'Shall we pull Churchill's statue down?': Andrew Castle quizzes activist
8 January 2022, 09:26 | Updated: 9 January 2022, 15:59
Former Council Leader and activist Linda Bellos was put on the spot over the implications of the Colston Four's acquittal.
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"What most people, or at least some people, will be concerned about is what message this sends out" Andrew Castle put to former leader of Lambeth Council and equality activist Linda Bellos OBE.
His comments came in the wake of the acquittal of the "Colston Four", who were on trial for the toppling of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol in 2020.
He acknowledged that the actions of Mr Colston were "totally unacceptable" and the slave trader's sharing of his wealth with the city of Bristol "surely doesn't make up for that."
"Who's next to be judged by today's standards?" Andrew asked.
"Shall we pull Churchill's statue down?"
Ms Bellos countered Andrew's observations: "There has not even been an apology for Britain's role in the enslavement of millions of African people", she pointed out.
The activist argued that the failure to recognise the public's fury at slave traders being celebrated with statues is at the core of the issue.
"We can't do anything with the facts of millions of African people being taken, enslaved, murdered, and a whole host of appalling things, and in Britain, we've got statues saying that's ok."
Ms Bellos concluded by arguing that all statues commemorating slave traders should be removed.
"Something needs to be done and some young people did something."