They were rich by slavery. On Friday, January 22, London announced the dismantling of two statues in its historic heart: the former mayor of London, William Beckford (1709-1770), who amassed wealth on sugar plantations in Jamaica, and John Cass (1661-1718), especially the head of the Deputy Royal African Company.
“The slave trade is a stain on our history; The inclusion of those who have benefited from this on a pedestal is not at the level of a modern and mass city. ”, Explained Carolyn Adi, who leads the city’s task force against racism. The group had recommended the removal of the statues, which were approved by a vote on Thursday. London intends to replace them with other works of art and commission a new monument to the slave trade.
To local consultations
The move comes after the British government announced new rules for issuing permits and local consultations before removing a statue or historical monument. “In exceptional circumstances”. “Do not attempt to rewrite or censor our past”, Justified the Minister in charge of Communities, Robert Gen. “Established for generations (…) Cannot be removed at an interest. “
The UK is questioning its colonial past and its symbols in the wake of protests over the death of African-American George Floyd. Last year, the Black Lives revived the Matter movement. Demonstrators in June The statue was dismantled Of Edward Colston (southwest England), a slave trader. A monument to Winston Churchill in front of Westminster was tagged in the inscription “Communalist”.