UK: Several London statues boarded up ahead of weekend BLM rally

Statues of key historical figures and events were seen boarded up in downtown London on Friday ahead of a massive anti-racism rally expected over the weekend. Statues to such notable statesmen as Sir Winston Churchill, George Washington, King James II, Charles I, Clive of India, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi as well as the First World War Cenotaph memorial were seen covered up with grey boards as the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan attempted to protect the monuments from eventual vandalism, amid increasing calls to have some of them removed due to the alleged racist views of the men portrayed in the statues. Local residents were divided in opinions regarding the measure. Alexander approved the protection of historic pieces of architecture saying «I think it is necessary in case Churchill is vandalised again- something bad, paint, graffiti. I think it is a good thing.» Meanwhile, James pointed out that every historical figure had positive and negative accomplishments, which makes it unfair to priorities or slam some statesmen while ignoring the memory of the others. «There are lots of people you could say they have done great things but you do not see a statue of because they have done some horrible things. It is more than unjust when they do not look at the bad things he has done» the young man said. During the Black Lives Matter protests last weekend, a statue of Winston Churchill was vandalised with graffiti while another activist climbed on the Cenotaph attempting to set the British flag on fire. During a rally in Bristol, protesters pulled down a statue of a slave trader Edward Colston. Black Lives Matter protests took place around the world in the wake of the death of African-American George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.

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