The british prime minister Boris Johnson has blasted on Friday the “extremists” who have “hijacked” the demonstrations of anti-racist, rising against the wishes of “censoring the past” by taking to the statues of figures colonialists.
Slave traders, businessman imperialist or personalities known for remarks that were deemed racist: several monuments have been targeted in recent days during protests following the death of George Floyd in the United States.
While actions are planned this weekend, the statue of former Prime minister Winston Churchill, in London, has been protected by a box, disappearing from the eyes of the public. It was not necessary any more to bring it out of its hinges Boris Johnson, author of a biography on the hero of the Second world War and who is often cited as a model.
“The demonstrations have unfortunately been taken hostage by extremists for the violence,” wrote Mr Johnson on Twitter, denouncing ” attacks intolerable and abominable against the police “.
“It is absurd and shameful that this national monument is submitted today to the risk of attacks by violent protesters,” said Boris Johnson. “Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and remain unacceptable to us today, but it was a hero and he deserves his memorial. “
Winston Churchill is accused of making racist, especially against Indians. His statue, located near the Parliament, had been degraded the last weekend, and the inscription “was a racist” added to its name.
In Liverpool, the street signs indicating the famous Penny Lane, made famous by the Beatles, have been vandalized, while the question of whether it was or not baptised in the name of a merchant of slaves stirs up the town in the north of England.
The movement has resulted in some of the platforms of streaming to remove or suspend any content that might be perceived as offensive, including one of the cult series ” Fawlty Towers “.
Many symbols of the colonial past of the United Kingdom have recently been the target of protesters since the death of the Afro-american George Floyd, asphyxiated by a white policeman.
In Bristol, the statue of a merchant of slaves has been overturned and thrown into the water to London, the statue of another has been removed in haste.
In Oxford, thousands of people demonstrated Tuesday against the statue of Cecil Rhodes, architect of the expansion of the british Empire in southern Africa.
In Poole harbour (south) of the protesters came to prevent the removal of a statue of the founder of scouting, Robert Baden-Powell, accused by his critics of racism, homophobia, and links with the nazi regime.
“Lie about our history”
Caller not to ” rewrite or censor the past “, Boris Johnson has defended the presence of this type of monuments: “statues we learn things about our past, with all its faults. Remove them would be to lie about our history, and impoverish the education of generations to come.”
While acknowledging a “legitimate desire to protest against discrimination’ at the threshold of new planned demonstrations, he ruled that ” the only responsible attitude is to stand in the gap “.
The labour mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also asked the population to stay home, saying it was ” extremely concerned by the risk of further protests in the centre of London not only did not broadcast the COVID-19, but did not lead to disorder, vandalism and violence “. The United Kingdom has the second heaviest death toll, more than 41 000, of the pandemic.
Hundreds of people have nevertheless marched Friday in the streets of London.
The movement Black Lives Matter London (BLM NDA) has cancelled a planned demonstration in Hyde Park on Saturday after the protests of right-wing groups.
Another organization, Black Lives Matter UK, has suggested that the activists rather show up in their neighborhoods Saturday. On Friday, the movement has deployed in the centre of the british capital, a list of over 3000 names of people who died as a result of racist violence and the state “.