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A Video Of Protesters Removing A Slave Trader's Statue Has Gone Viral — Here Are Some Of The Most Powerful Reactions

The controversial statue is no more.

In the midst of Black Lives Matter protests across the globe, a group of protesters in Bristol, UK, tore down a statue of Edward Colston and threw it into the harbor.

The moment a statue of slave trader Edward Colston toppled into Bristol’s harbour. ‘It’s what he deserves. I’ve been waiting all my life for this moment’ someone told me in the moments after.

In case you didn't know, Bristol's port was key in the transatlantic slave trade for well over a century.

Abriendomundo / Getty Images

And the man in the statue, Edward Colston, was part of the England-based Royal African Company. He undoubtedly made money from the slave trade, as the company transported more than 100,000 slaves from West Africa to the Caribbean from 1672 to 1689. More than 20,000 were killed due to unhygienic conditions on the cramped ships and their bodies were thrown overboard.

Flickr Creative Commons: Tim Green / Via Flickr: atoach

The statue was taken off its plinth and rolled to the harbor for approximately 0.4 miles.

People have been trying to get rid of the statue since at least 2018, when a local MP called for its removal. There was supposed to be a second plaque added, but it was delayed after a seemingly indefinite disagreement over its wording. Over 11,000 people signed a petition asking for the statue to be removed.

The statue of #EdwardColston, slave trader, pulled down just now. Let's hope in its place we see a commemoration. such as this unofficial artwork added in 2018, of the suffering in the ships of horror and death that made him rich.

Of course, the destruction of the statue has sparked controversy. Still, here are a few things that Twitter had to say on the matter:

He tripped and fell. We all saw it. https://t.co/9OJnBYbw9E

Let’s be honest, one viral video showing a statue of a slave trader being torn down has done more to educate people about Britain’s past atrocities than the statue did in the 125 years previous.

Yeah sex is great but have you ever seen people dump the statue of a slave owner in the very river where his slave ships used to dock.

I guess the question we should probably be asking is "why was there a statue of a slave trader there in the first place"

Apparently taking down a statue of a racist slave trader responsible for the deaths of at least 20,000 is “destroying history.” Maybe we should start teaching children about the British Empire and colonialism in schools? Just a thought...

Protestors in Bristol, England have torn down a statue of a slave trader and thrown it in the harbor. Google Maps has already updated the statue’s geolocation. https://t.co/4UnK3u2p9c

The space where Colston stood is now filled with #BlackLivesMatter signs - a powerful day in Bristol

A slave trader's statue thrown from the docks? Shakespeare couldn't write such poetic justice. https://t.co/Ztfe0DHPn3

Currently, there are petitions to further remove Colston's name from Bristol and to replace the statue with one of Black civil rights activist Paul Stephenson or a memorial for victims of the slave trade.

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