Ahead of the demonstrations planned in the capital, a statue of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in London’s Parliament Square and opposite the Cenotaph war memorial, has been hidden in a box for protection from #BlackLivesMatter protesters who have vowed to remove busts of all the racist leaders. As the protests swelled in London and Edward Colston’s statue was toppled and dumped inside Bristol’s harbour, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced on June 9 that statues of all the world leaders would be pulled down, who celebrated slavery or racism in some form or the other. Also Read - 'Chamgadar ko Ulta Latkaane se Mor Nahi Banta': Twitter After 'Fair & Lovely' Skin Whitening Cream Renamed to 'Glow & Lovely' Amid BLM Protests
A few days ago, the statue of World War II leader, Churchill, who is largely held responsible for the Bengal Famine of 1943, was defaced. The famine had killed over four million people then and now at the back of the wave of change, the protesters smeared the word “Churchill” with black spray paint and wrote the words “is a racist” underneath it on his statue opposite London’s parliament. Also Read - Felt 'Unprotected' And 'Silenced' by Royal Family: London High Court Documents Spill The Beans on Meghan Markle
Racial protests gained steam in the US after the gruesome murder of African-American George Floyd by Minneapolis officers. The recent merciless killings of African-Americans Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Floyd, triggered the Black Lives Matter movement that trickled from America to the rest of the world. In London, a list of more than 60 statues that should be removed in the UK was drawn up by the anti-racism activists. Also Read - 'Aaah Babies': Viral Video of Bear Cubs Wrestling is Perfect Stressbuster This Thursday!
In lieu of the same, Churchill’s statue was boarded up for protection on Friday before three days of demonstrations planned in the capital. Reportedly, supporters of a right-wing leader, Tommy Robinson, who describe themselves as patriots and are a loose grouping of soccer fans, have promised to protect the statues from being torn or razed down by gathering in London on Saturday.
Defending Churchill’s honour, British PM Boris Johnson tweeted, “The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country – and the whole of Europe – from a fascist and racist tyranny.It is absurd and shameful that this national monument should today be at risk of attack by violent protestors. Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial. We cannot now try to edit or censor our past. We cannot pretend to have a different history. The statues in our cities and towns were put up by previous generations. They had different perspectives, different understandings of right and wrong. But those statues teach us about our past, with all its faults. To tear them down would be to lie about our history, and impoverish the education of generations to come. As for the planned demonstrations, we all understand the legitimate feelings of outrage at what happened in Minnesota and the legitimate desire to protest against discrimination. Whatever progress this country has made in fighting racism – and it has been huge – we all recognise that there is much more work to do. But it is clear that the protests have been sadly hijacked by extremists intent on violence. The attacks on the police and indiscriminate acts of violence which we have witnessed over the last week are intolerable and they are abhorrent. The only responsible course of action is to stay away from these protests (sic).”
Remembrance Sunday events, commemorating those killed in World War One and conflicts since then, are attended each year by the government and royal family. Hence, boarding has also been placed around the foot of the Cenotaph on Whitehall.