A Monument Celebrating An 18th Century slave Dealer Has Been Removed From The Docks He Helped To Construct As Pressure From The Black Lives Matter Protests To Remove Racist Statues Has Forced Councils Across The Country Into Action
A monument celebrating an 18th Century slave dealer has been removed from the docks he helped to construct as pressure from the Black Lives Matter protests to remove racist statues has forced councils across the country into action.
Workmen were today seen uprooting a statue of Robert Milligan from its spot on West India Quay in London's docklands to cheers from spectators.
Protesters had drawn up a hit list of 60 'racist' monuments to be taken down, including Milligan's.
Amid growing pressure to act, the charity Canal and River Trust worked with the Museum of London and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to remove the bronze figure of the Scottish merchant who owned 526 slaves at his Jamaican sugar plantation.
Statues glorifying slave traders and colonialists have come into sharp focus in recent days, as part of a broader movement inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests that started in the United States following the death of George Floyd on May 25.
On Sunday, protesters in Bristol tore down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston and threw it in the harbour, receiving a mixed reactions of celebrations from anti-racism campaigners and protestors while some politicians and officials questioned the 'anti-democratic' manner in how the statue was taken down.
And in Oxford today more than 1,000 demonstrators have demanded the removal of a statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes, an imperialist who provided philanthropical support to Oriel College in Oxford University where the monument stands.
The Canal and River Trust, which owns the land where Milligan's statue is located, issued a statement on Twitter following a petition launched by Tower Hamlets Labour councillor Ehtasham Haque, which demanded the removal of the figure and reached over 1,000 signatures in 24 hours.
It earlier said: 'We recognise the wishes of the local community concerning the statue of Robert Milligan at London Docklands and are committed to working with London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the Museum of London Docklands and partners at Canary Wharf to organise its safe removal as soon as possible.
'The Trust stands with out waterside communities against racism.
We promote equality, diversity and inclusion, using our canals to enrich the lives of all those alongside our waterways from every community.'
A video shows people cheering and clapping as workers used a crane to remove the statue from its plinth.
'While it's a sad truth that much of our city and nation's wealth was derived from the slave trade, this does not have to be celebrated in our public spaces,' said London Mayor Sadiq Khan in a tweet with a photo of the statue.
It comes as 130 Labour councils said they would examine the ‘appropriateness' of any monuments linked to colonialism and the slave trade in their authorities in the wake of the toppling of Edward Colston's statue in Bristol.
Huw Thomas, leader of Cardiff Council, backed the removal of a statue of Sir Thomas Picton, a slave holder and military leader.
He described the monument to the former governor of Trinidad as an ‘affront' to black people.
Edinburgh council leader Adam McVey said he would feel ‘no sense of loss' if a statue to Henry Dundas, who delayed the abolition of slavery, was removed.
Plymouth council said a public square named after slave trader Sir John Hawkins would be renamed and the University of Liverpool will redesignate a hall of residence dedicated to William Gladstone.
The 19th century prime minister's father, the merchant John Gladstone, was one of the biggest slaveholders in the West Indies, owning more than 2,500 at the time of the abolition of slavery.
Earlier, Sadiq Khan ordered a review of murals, statues, street art and street names across London, in response to mass protests in the city and elsewhere.
As the row over Britain's statues continues today, it has also emerged:[/news/sadiq_khan/index.html ]
Home Secretary Priti Patel has read the riot act to the chief constable of Avon and Somerset Police whose officers failed to stop protesters ripping down a slave trader's statue and dumping it in Bristol harbour; Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the Government is 'looking very carefully' at sentences for assaults on emergency workers in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. Cecil Rhodes' statue in Oxford is under threat as 26 labour councillors call for its removal ahead of 5pm protest; Edinburgh council will review statue of politician who 'delayed abolition of slavery' after BLM complaints and Barclays has also changed the name of its 'Buchanan' Glasgow development because its links to slavery;130 Labour councils have said they will examine the 'appropriateness' of monuments to controversial figures under their control, including statues of some 18th century Prime Ministers. more videos [# ] [# 1] [# 2] [# 3] [# ] [/video/news/video-2202926/Video-Huge-bird-seen-holding-shark-talons-Myrtle-Beach.html Watch video Huge Osprey seen holding a shark in its talons on Myrtle Beach] [/video/news/video-2203556/Video-Drone-footage-shows-house-Ghislaine-Maxwell-arrested.html Watch video Drone footage shows house where Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested] [/video/news/video-2203066/Video-Dachshund-tries-teach-puppy-play-fetch.html Watch video Dachshund tries to teach his puppy how to play fetch] [/video/news/video-2203644/Video-Baby-stop-laughing-mum-juggles.html Watch video Baby can't stop laughing at his mum as she juggles balls] [/video/news/video-2203348/Video-Location-Ghislaine-Maxwells-Tuckedaway-hideout-revealed.html Watch video Location of Ghislaine Maxwell's 'Tuckedaway' hideout revealed] [/video/news/video-2203010/Video-Student-blames-Trump-supporters-losing-job-Deloitte.html Watch video Student blames Trump supporters after losing her job with Deloitte] [/video/tvshowbiz/video-2203266/Video-Ashley-Graham-dances-skimpy-bikini-works-out.html Watch video Ashley Graham dances around in skimpy bikini and works out] [/video/newsalerts/video-2203302/Video-NYPD-searches-suspect-slashed-2-year-olds-face.html Watch video NYPD searches for suspect who slashed 2-year-old's face] [/video/tvshowbiz/video-2202304/Video-Billie-Faiers-shows-transformed-new-kitchen.html Watch video Billie Faiers shows off her transformed new kitchen] [/video/news/video-2202886/Guy-gets-bitten-face-trying-kiss-turtle.html Watch video Guy gets bitten on the face after trying to kiss a turtle] [/video/football/video-2202442/Video-Guardiola-Leroy-Sane-loved-stay.html Watch video Guardiola on Leroy Sane: I would have loved him to stay] [/video/news/video-2203088/Video-WNBA-star-Maya-Moore-greets-Jonathan-Irons-prison-release.html Watch video WNBA star Maya Moore greets Jonathan Irons after prison release]
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A statue of Robert Milligan outside the Museum of London Docklands near Canary Wharf is pictured being removed this evening by workers following the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis, London
The statue is seen being removed by workers.
A spokesman for the museum said it 'recognises that the monument is part of the ongoing problematic regime of white-washing history'
Workers, some pictured wearing face masks, use a crane to remove the monument to Milligan, as police officers and members of the public can be seen looking on from behind a cordon
A worker sits down as the statue of slave owner Milligan is taken down at West India Quay in east London. It comes as Labour councils across England and Wales will begin reviewing monuments in their towns and cities
Workers taking down the statue of Milligan, after a protest saw campaigners tearing down a statue of a slave trader in Bristol
Workers using tools during the removal of the Milligan statue outside the Museum of London Docklands in West India Quay
Four workmen pictured standing next to the empty plinth after the statue was removed in West India Quay, east London
A picture posted to Twitter by John Briggs, far right, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, captioned: 'Tonight we removed the statue of Robert Milligan at West India Quay #blacklivesmatter'
Police officer stand in a row in the background as workers take away the bronze statue of Milligan following its removal
John Briggs, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, posted a video of himself at the scene, in which he says: 'This has become the focus of a lot of anxiety and anger in our community.
We need to take it, put it into storage and then talk about what we can learn from this and how we can help these events to make us a stronger community.'
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Museum of London said it 'recognises that the monument is part of the ongoing problematic regime of white-washing history, which disregards the pain of those who are still wrestling with the remnants of the crimes Milligan committed against humanity.'
The commemorative statue, sculpted by Richard Westmacott, was commissioned by the West India Dock Company, of which Milligan was Chairman, following his death in May 1809.
He also has a street in the area named after him, Milligan Street, near Westferry DLR station.
The museum also tweeted earlier today: 'The statue presently stands shrouded with placards and is now an object of protest, we believe these protests should remain as long as the statue remains.'
The decision follows huge crowds of Black Lives Matter supporters gathering outside Oriel College at the University of Oxford this evening to campaign for a monument of imperialist Cecil Rhodes to be removed.
The demonstration was organised by the Rhodes Must Fall campaign group and came after activists identified 60 UK statues they want removed for 'celebrating slavery and racism' as councils and museums rushed to bring down their controversial monuments.
Some of Briton's most famous people on the hit list revealed today include the Edinburgh statue of former Home Secretary Henry Dundas, who delayed the abolition of slavery, and a statue of Sir Francis Drake on Plymouth Hoe.
The interactive map, called 'topple the racists', was set up by the Stop Trump Coalition in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and lists plaques and monuments in more than 30 towns and cities across the UK.
The online list is unregulated and can be added to by the public.
This evening in London there is a commemoration event, organised by Stand Up To Racism, to mark George Floyd's funeral in Houston, Texas, with police forming a ring of steel around statues including Sir Winston Churchill's in case it is attacked again.
Workers help to load the statue of Milligan onto the back of a crane following its removal from outside the Museum of London
The statue is seen being driven away on the back of a truck after being removed from workers today in West India Quay
The statue of Milligan pictured on the back of a truck as it is driven away by one of the workers.
A petition launched by Tower Hamlets Labour councillor Ehtasham Haque for its removal reached over 1,000 signatures in 24 hours
A worker places a ladder by the feet of the Milligan statue, which is seen covered by a blanket and with a placard attached
Police and members of the public gather as workers prepare to take down a statue of the slave owner Milligan, with a sign reading 'Black Lives Matter' seen around the statue's neck, which is also covered in graffiti
A statue of Milligan pictured covered by a blanket and with a placard placed upon it reading 'Black Lives Matter' as it is seen being removed by workers at West India Quay outside the Museum of London Docklands near Canary Wharf
People looking on as the statue of Milligan is seen covered with a blanket and a placard before its removal by the charity Canal and River Trust, which owns the land on which the monument was located
Two police officers look on at the statue, before its removal.
It follows protesters in the English port city of Bristol tore down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston
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At tonight's Oxford protest, organisers placed chalk crosses on the floors in either side of the street outside the entrance to the college, to enforce social distancing.
The crowd took to their knees for eight minutes 46 seconds, to reflect the time Mr Floyd, a father-of-two, spent with a police officer kneeling on his neck which killed him in America last month.
Hours before the rally began Oxford City Council's leader Susan Brown wrote to Oriel College inviting them to apply for planning permission to remove the statue, after 26 councillors signed a letter saying it is 'incompatible' with the city's 'commitment to anti-racism'.
Councillor Brown said: 'Typically such actions are only allowed in the most exceptional of circumstances.
But these are exceptional circumstances, and as a city council we are keen to work with Oriel to help them find the right balance between the laws that protect our historic buildings and the moral obligation to reflect on the malign symbolism of this statue.'
Oriel College has said it will 'continue to debate' the issue - but did not commit to removing it.
Ndjodi Ndeunyema, an Oxford University law student and a former Rhodes scholar, organised tonight's Oxford rally after starting the Rhodes Must Fall campaign for its removal five years ago, and said today: 'The statue remaining is an affront on the university's support for movements such as Black Lives Matter.
'Rhodes is not worth of veneration or glorification because of the racism and subjugation he represents'. [/news/sadiq_khan/index.html index.html]
Protesters gather in front of the Cecil Rhodes statue outside Oriel College in Oxford and demand for it to be taken down
Thousands of protestors in Oxford hold up placards this evening as they campaign for the removal of a statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes
Protestors hold placards and shout slogans below a statue of British imperialst Cecil John Rhodes during during a protest called by the Rhodes Must Fall campaign
Supporters of the Rhodes Must Fall group, participate in a protest calling for the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes outside Oriel College this evening
A protester holds up a sign reading 'imagine if Oxford protected black lives like it protects a racist made of stone' during a demonstration by the Rhodes Must Fall campaign calling for the removal of the statue outside Oriel College
Following the toppling of slave trader Edward Colston during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol on June 6, the Rhodes Must Fall campaign has called for today's protest action outside Oriel College
Protestors hold placards and shout slogans during during a protest called by the Rhodes Must Fall campaign this evening
Black Lives Matter protestors chant and demonstrate outside Oxford University's Oriel College this evening and call for the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes
Police and protesters discuss in front of Oriel College during a protest of the 'Rhodes Must Fall' campaign within the Black Lives Matter movement
Thousands of Black Lives Matter protestors are thought to have descended on Oxford to demonstrate against the statue this evening
Members of the 'Rhodes Must Fall' campaign within the Black Lives Matter movement gather in front of the Oriel College for a protest calling for vacationtravel.hpage.com the removal of the statue of British 19th century imperialist, politician Cecil Rhodes
Demonstrators gather outside University of Oxford's Oriel College to demand the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes
'Rhodes must fall' was a popular slogan as thousands campaigned for the statue's removal outside Oriel College this evening
Members of the Oxford anti-fascists were outside Oriel College to demand the statue of Cecil Rhodes is removed ahead of a Black Lives Matter and Rhodes Must Fall protest in the city this evening
26 Oxford City councillors signed a letter saying Rhodes' statue in Oxford (pictured) should go because it is 'incompatible' with the city's 'commitment to anti-racism'
Police on horseback in front of Oriel College, Oxford ahead of a protest calling for the removal of the statue of 19th century imperialist, politician Cecil Rhodes from the Oxford college
Demonstrators hold placards during a protest called by the Rhodes Must Fall campaign outside Oxford University's Oriel College
A protester in Oxford holds a sign asking if 'Cecil wants a swim?'.
This in reference to the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol being torn down and suggests the same could happen to the Cecil Rhodes statue
Participants gather for a protest called by the Rhodes Must Fall campaign calling for the removal of the statue of British imperialist Cecil John Rhodes outside Oriel College
Protesters also packed into Leicester city centre this evening with the UK bracing for another evening of demonstrations against racism.
It comes as the University of Leicester has increased its efforts to 'decolonise the curriculum' in subjects like English, history and law in recent months - and it is launching a scheme to recruit more BAME academics in teaching roles.
Professor Nishan Canagarajah, vice-chancellor of the university, said: 'It is about a sense of belonging in the university.
That comes from having students who are diverse, from having staff who are diverse, and from having a curriculum that is diverse.
'It's not something you can easily fix because I think the students have certain perceptions and that's not going to change overnight.
'They see certain universities as not welcoming for them.
That may not be true, but that might be what they have been feeling since they were very young.
'I think if you go and visit Oxford and places like Bristol you will think they're welcoming for ethnic minorities, but there is a gap between that reality and what the community outside perceives them to be, as not really representing them.
I know these universities are taking a lot of action to address that.
More than half (52%) of students are from a BAME background at the University of Leicester but currently only 14.2% of teaching staff and 9.8% of professors are from a BAME background.
The university has launched a £1.5 million annual scheme to create three funded PhD studentships and ten postgraduate scholarships to attract students from BAME backgrounds into academia.
And from this year, the English BA at Leicester has been changed to include more diverse texts and authors set and written in countries across the world.
The reading list now includes Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and NW by Zadie Smith.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner pictured kneeling in solidarity with anti-racism protesters
The Queen Victoria Statue in Woodhouse Moor Park in Leeds, West Yorkshire which has had 'Black Lives Matter', 'BLM' and 'Slave Owner' spray painted on it
Black Lives Matter and 'slave owner' were among the phrases daubed on the statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor Park in Leeds
Statues of Robert Milligan (right) and William Beckford (left) are being targeted.
Milligan was an 18th century Scottish merchant who owned 526 slaves at his Jamaican sugar plantation. Beckford was twice Lord Mayor of London and owned 3,000 slaves in Jamaica
Statues of Thomas Guy (left) and John Cass (right) are also likely to be targeted for removal.
Cass was involved in the slave trade, as a member of the Royal African Company's Court of Assistants between 1705 and 1708. Guy was given a monopoly over the slave trade to the Spanish Colonies in the Americas before the 'South Sea Bubble' burst
Protesters packed into Leicester city centre this evening with the UK bracing for another evening of demonstrations against racism
Protesters wearing face masks stand in silence at this evening's Black Lives Matter protest in Leicester city centre today
A Black Lives Matter demonstration takes place in Leicester City Centre this evening, the latest in a string of protests to hit the UK
A Black Lives Matter demonstration takes place in Leicester City Centre after the death of George Floyd in the US
Police officers also gathered at the University of Oxford today as protests were planned over the statue of Cecil Rhodes
A website set up by BLM supporters called 'Topple the Racists' website mapping 60 statues and monuments organisers claim 'celebrate slavery and racism' and should be removed
Mr Khan (pictured on GMB) said he 'hopes' the new Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm will recommend some memorials in the capital should be removed - but declared he would like any ones of slave traders taken down
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<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news halfRHS" data-version="2" id="mol-9ac086c0-aa6c-11ea-87af-e918544d80a6" website remove monument to 18th Century slave dealer Robert Milligan