Protesters in Bristol on Sunday (June 7) tore down a statue of Edward Colston, a racist slave trader.
Colston’s statue, which had been in the center of Bristol since 1895, was tossed into the harbour by protesters.
Formula One heavyweight, Lewis Hamilton, has come out in support of the move noting that other “racist symbols” should be removed.
“People have a right to protest peacefully & while observing social distancing but they have no right to attack the police.”– Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Hamilton who shared a video of the protesters removing the statue on Instagram said that while he does not condone violence, the authorities had plenty of time to remove such monuments.
“I do not condone violence or criminal acts but you have had plenty of time to do this yourself and haven’t. Power to the people” said Hamilton.
Demonstrations have been springing up all across London following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of US cops. Most of the demonstrations staged in the UK have been described as “largely peaceful” with footage showing thousands in the streets outside the US embassy in Vauxhall and south London.
Nonetheless, on Sunday evening, police in central London issued a dispersal order forcing people to vacate the City of Westminster.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that while people had a right to protest, that the protests had been “subverted by thuggery”.
“People have a right to protest peacefully & while observing social distancing but they have no right to attack the police. These demonstrations have been subverted by thuggery – and they are a betrayal of the cause they purport to serve. Those responsible will be held to account,” said Johnson on Twitter.
Twelve people were arrested in London for public order offences.