Edward Colston: two links

The statue of Bristol slave-trader Edward Colston was toppled a year ago by Black Lives Matters protestors. It has been put on display in the M Shed museum as part of a ‘Consultative Display’ entitled The Colston Statue: What Next? The Bristol Radical History Group website has an interesting analysis: The M Shed Colston ‘Consultative Display’ – What’s in and what’s out? By Randell Brantley https://www.brh.org.uk/site/2021/06/the-m-shed-colston-consultative-display-whats-in-and-whats-out/ It gives a critical examination of what gets left out of history (and that includes recent history). ‘Whilst angry letter writers to the Bristol Post or on social media required responses, they did not have control over Colston’s legacy; it was the Merchant Venturers, their allies and the Church who did. It is noticeable that the very institutions that had a financial and historical interest in defending Edward Colston’s legacy and actively did so, were completely absent from the M Shed display.’

The article ends by saluting ‘the actions of the brave Black Lives Matter protestors last June whose historic actions have reverberated around the world. In particular, the Colston 4 who await their trial.’ An online fundraiser has been set up to help cover the legal costs (estimated at £12,000) of the four who have been singled out and charged with ‘Criminal damage’. GladColstonsGone explain ‘The four protesters facing charges are due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on the 13th December 2021 for a jury trial lasting up to eight days. That means hefty additional legal costs, along with lost income and other expenses that we hope the rest of the ten thousand people who brought the Colston statue down, and supporters around the world, will ensure are covered.

‘How can Bristol hope to address its ongoing racial inequalities, if a slave trader is still venerated in the heart of the city? The toppling was a justified and necessary action that we believe the vast majority of Bristol stands behind. Despite the fact that calls to drop the charges are ongoing, it is likely the four will still have to stand trial.’  You can read more and contribute at https://gofund.me/e49428cb