Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol withdraw formal police complaint against BLM protesters

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol withdraw formal police complaint against BLM protesters

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Matthew Carey started this petition to Mayor Marvin Rees of Bristol and

The genocidal slave trader and Tory MP, Edward Colston (1636 - 1721) was a man with no moral compunction. Simply for the sake of making himself rich, as a member of, and later deputy governor of, the Royal Africa Company, he helped run the transatlantic slave trade. Just in the years of his personal involvement (1680 - 1692) an estimated 84,000 African men, women and children were enslaved and transported to the Americas by Colston and his associates, with as many as 19,000 of them dying on the voyage and the rest being sold to colonialist businessmen who mercilessly worked them to death for profit. *

In order to try to whitewash his tarnished reputation, Colston posed as a ‘philanthropist’ giving as much as £70,000, (millions in today’s money,) to build almshouses, schools, hospitals and churches in Bristol, London and elsewhere. He was also a member of the exclusive Bristol club for rich people, the Society of Merchant Venturers. Eventually Bristol ended up with many streets and buildings named after him and in 1895, the Victorians even erected a statue of him in the centre of Bristol.

Colston and men of his ilk brought shame on Britain, and in particular Bristol, that has stained our reputation for hundreds of years. The putrid ideology of racism that underpinned their inhuman business activities has echoed down the ages; even today it is used to justify hated and violence in the corrupted and weak minds of many misguided white people. It is also used by unscrupulous politicians and business leaders to divide poor people against each other and weaken their collective strength, thereby shoring up their illegitimate privilege.

The people of Bristol have campaigned for many years for Colston’s horrendous crimes against humanity to be recognised as such and for his name to be removed from the many buildings and roads named after him. Also for his statue in the centre of Bristol to be removed. However, racist politicians and ‘community leaders’ who still see advantage in perpetuating the divisions represented by Colston’s legacy have succeeded in blocking such moves.

Then on Sunday, 7th June 2020, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement started by the descendants of African slaves in the United States of America and by the killing of George Floyd by a racist policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Black Lives Matter demonstration happened in Bristol. During this demonstration the statue of Colston that had stood in the centre of Bristol since 1895 was finally pulled down and dumped in the harbour. Racists everywhere descended into apoplexy but to the majority of fair minded people it was clear that this was an historic moment. A grave injustice, the celebration of racist psychopath, had been finally righted after all these centuries. In the words of the first black mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, “I can’t pretend the statue is anything but an affront to me. Not just as a Jamaican heritage man but as a human being.” Describing the act as a “piece of historical poetry”, he said: “The world is full of contradictions and truths that are difficult bedfellows. I have to uphold order at the same time as being honest with people and saying I’m not going to mourn the loss of the statue to the plinth.” **

However, on Wednesday, 1st July 2020 it was widely reported in the press that Marvin Rees and Bristol City Council had changed their tune. Against all natural justice they had made a formal complaint to Avon & Somerset Police against the protesters that had carried out the toppling of the statue! In response, the police had arrested one suspect and were seeking up to 15 more to try to punish those that had carried out the noble and historic deed.

That the mayor and the council are pandering to the racists and seeking retribution against the Black Lives Matter protesters is an abomination! And so we, the undersigned, call for Mayor Marvin Rees and Bristol City Council to immediately inform Avon & Somerset Police that they are withdrawing the formal complaint against the protesters and that they should take no further action against them. The legacy of Edward Colston and all those evil men who caused so much pain and injustice must be buried once and for all so that all people can finally be free.

* Wikipedia
** The Guardian

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