Remove racist Robert Clive statue from Whitehall
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The next step is for local residents, workers, and students in Westminster to sign here. Thanks so much for signing this petition, which is our main vehicle for applying pressure on all decision-makers, not just the council. If the shortened Westminster version of our petition receives more than 500 signatures by July 28, it will be debated by a meeting of the Cabinet. Please sign and share with others who you live and work with in Westminster (includes Pimlico, Marylebone, Paddington, Bayswater, Maida Hill, West Kilburn, Westbourne, Queen's Park, Abbey Road, & St Johns Wood).
Robert Clive, or ‘Clive’ of India’ was responsible for the mass invasion and brutalisation of millions across India and other South Asian countries.
As the first governor of the East India Company’s Bengal presidency, Robert Clive looted massive wealth from Bengal (his first loot alone was worth £250 million in today’s money) and was responsible for profit-driven policies that provoked a four-year long famine, killing an estimated 10 million people. The East India Company continued to collect taxes as these people died, unable to cultivate their crops, while Clive amassed his fortune.
Many were appalled by Clive at the time including the father of modern Conservatism Edmund Burke. Clive used the massive wealth he had amassed to buy ‘rotten boroughs’, corrupting England’s own democratic process. The son of the first Conservative Prime Minister, Horace Walpole, said, "They starved millions in India by monopolies and plunder, and almost raised a famine at home by the luxury occasioned by their opulence, and by that opulence raising the prices of everything, till the poor could not purchase bread!” Clive's statue in London was only "hoisted into place in 1911", in an attempt to legitimate British rule in India.
There are three main reasons to remove the statue:
- The glorification of a mass murderer and looter in the heart of the nation’s capital is profoundly insulting, especially to those from a South Asian background.
- The location of the statue at the entrance to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office tells visitors that the British state today condones the murderous activities of the East India Company. It also tells our civil servants, MPs, and Whitehall staff that they are furthering his work. Why are we, as a country, asking our public servants to work in such an environment? It’s not right.
- It’s time to improve and increase the education that we receive about the British Empire. If the purpose of statues is to remember history, this statue is not doing its job. Let’s teach people about Clive’s legacy in an archive or museum, accompanied by fresh historical work.
The council can consult on where to preserve the statue and the reliefs. Separate proposals can be made. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and support their campaigns to learn more about Britain's colonial history. The goal of this petition is to stop the glorification of Robert Clive in Whitehall.
Sign this petition to show your support for the removal of the statue of Robert Clive from Whitehall. And when you sign, please consider ticking 'yes' to receive important updates. It will take some work to dislodge Clive, so we need you to tweet, write to MPs, organizations, and pursue other campaigning actions which we will detail in purposeful, not-overly regular updates. As well as having a high number of signatures, having a large group of active campaigners can make all the difference.
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0 have signed. Let’s get to 150,000!