Among the targets are monuments of former prime ministers, sea captains, pubs, street signs, and even a school and hospital. Monuments of former prime ministers such as William Gladstone and Sir Robert Peel, as well as English sea captains James Cook and Sir Francis Drake, are listed as targets. They feature on a website called …
Among the targets are monuments of former prime ministers, sea captains, pubs, street signs, and even a school and hospital.
Monuments of former prime ministers such as William Gladstone and Sir Robert Peel, as well as English sea captains James Cook and Sir Francis Drake, are listed as targets.
They feature on a website called “Topple the Racists”, to which the public can add their suggestions – and an interactive map gives the locations as well as a description of each memorial.
The list comes as business minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News that “any slave trader should not have a statue”.
He added: “I wouldn’t be breaking the law to take statues down, it should be done through our democratic process.
“This country is a democracy, a proud democracy and it should be up to local people to decide what they want to do with that statue and any other statue.”
The list includes demands for the renaming of pubs and institutions linked to Britain’s colonial past, and streets named after East India company senior figures – as well as the removal of a statue of Robert Clive (aka Clive of India), who spearheaded the trading enterprise.
The site reads: “We believe these statues and other memorials to slave-owners and colonialists need to be removed so that Britain can finally face the truth about its past – and how it shapes our present.”
There have since been increasing demands to remove the legacy of racism and colonialism from institutions, including monuments of controversial historical figures.
Some of the monuments which feature on the list have already been taken down.
The figure of Robert Milligan was taken down from its plinth at West India Quay in the Docklands on Tuesday – two days after campaigners tore down a statue of a slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol.
Bristol City Council has said the statue will be retrieved from the harbour and exhibited at a local museum, with the protesters having rolled it from its original site and dumped it in the water.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the toppling of the statue was “utterly disgraceful”, while Professor Geoff Palmer, a professor emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, told Sky News he was not a supporter of the removal of historical monuments.
Professor Palmer said: “Once a statue has come down, what do you do next?
“What I am concerned about is in 100 years you look back and somebody says, ‘who is Colston?’, and therefore I think removing history – one should consider it very carefully.
“I think it’s a slow removal of history, and part of that is black history.”
A caricature of a black man’s head, which had a “save me” sign around it, was removed by the public for “safekeeping” from an 18th century pub sign in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
The protests have also reignited a campaign for a statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes to be removed from an Oxford University college.
A statue of coloniser Christopher Columbus in London’s Belgravia is another target on the hit list.
Campaigners say they also want to see Beckford School in North London, which is named after slave owner William Beckford, renamed.
Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge is also named, which was founded in 1721 by Sir Thomas Guy, who made his fortune through investment in the South Sea Company, whose main purpose was to sell slaves to the Spanish Colonies.
A petition has also been launched to rename The Elihu Yale, a Wetherspoons pub in Wrexham, Wales, named after a slave trader and official for the East India Company in Madras.
Several monuments have also been vandalised during the protests, including a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, and that of former prime minister Winston Churchill in London’s Parliament Square.
It comes as Labour councils across England and Wales pledged to begin reviewing such monuments in their areas.
It follows a similar decision by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, after his office announced that the newly-formed Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm will review landmarks in the capital – including murals, street art, street names, statues and other memorials.