Find a More Positive Approach to Contentious Statues in Public Places

Find a More Positive Approach to Contentious Statues in Public Places

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Patrick Revell started this petition to People creating and signing petitions and

Statues are in public places to mark significant people (and events) from history, they are not an endorsement that everything that person did/said/wrote is acceptable by modern standards.

Picking out particular statues as being offensive and raising their profile makes these statues a target for vandalism, putting pressure on the (already over-stretched) police and local councils, who are duty-bound to prevent damage. Rarely will the case for removing a statue be unanimous, people may wish to retain a statue because it represents the history of the local area, or they feel that the person represented did more good than bad for society (such as Baden-Powell).

Although many people are happy that the Edward Colston statue was toppled, there are many others who feel uncomfortable about the way it was done, or feel it should not have been done at all (YouGov Survey). Wanting to preserve a statue doesn't make you racist, it doesn't mean you think that slavery was a good idea or should be celebrated.

Campaigns to remove statues and counter-campaigns to keep them are incredibly divisive, setting one group against another. It really doesn't help address racism today, it just creates more division in society. Let's have a debate around how these statues can be properly contextualised in the modern world and what new statues can be added to represent positive modern multi-cultural role models, rather than an argument where the inevitable outcome is that one side feels they've won and the other side feels they've lost.

More importantly let's focus on holding the Government to account and find solutions to the inequalities highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis today, and not on removing the symbols of the past.

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