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  • The Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square is defaced for a second day on June 7, 2020

    The Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square is defaced for a second day on June 7, 2020 | Photo: AFP/Isabel Infantes

Published 9 June 2020 (15 hours 6 minutes ago)
Opinion

Over 200 demonstrations have been held so far in the country and some statues have been already pulled down by citizens.

Amid worldwide demonstrations against racism over George Floyd's murder, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced Tuesday that the city may remove statues of imperialist figures.

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According to Khan, this monument's "purge" meets London officials' desire to reflect the diversity, an aspect strongly attached to this capital, a host city for immigrants.

On this line, a commission was set up whose task would be to review "statues, murals, street art, street names, and other memorials and consider which legacies should be celebrated," the mayor informed.

“It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owe a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade and while this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to live in our capital has been willfully ignored.”

The United Kingdom has not been oblivious to protests spurring a review of racial politics, worldwide.

Over 200 demonstrations have been held so far in the country and some statues have been already pulled down by citizens, such as the statue of Cecil Rhodes, a Victorian imperialist in southern Africa, or Edward Colston, hauled by Bristol City neighbors and dumped in the city’s port.

"There are some statues that are quite clear-cut,” Khan said regarding some figure's racist views. “Slavers are quite clear-cut in my view, plantation owners are quite clear-cut.”

In other European countries, several statues will be removed as well. Some of them will be placed in museums as in the case of Belgium, which took down a statue of King Leopold II in Antwerp. 

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