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Bristol slave trader statue toppled, thrown in harbour by anti-racism protestors

Anti-racism protestors in the southwestern England port city of Bristol have toppled the statue of a prominent slave trader and dumped it into the harbour.

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The statue is of Edward Colston, who’s believed to have gained his wealth through the slave trade in Africa. Source: Breakfast

Footage from local broadcaster ITV News West Country shows demonstrators attaching ropes to the statue of Edward Colston before pulling it down and eventually dumping it into the harbour.

Images on social media show protestors appearing to kneel on the statue's neck, recalling how a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin down George Floyd's neck before the handcuffed black man died May 25.

Colston, who was born in 1636, has been a controversial figure in Bristol. Among efforts to “decolonise” the city have been calls to remove his name from its biggest music venue, Colston Hall.

In his 40s, Colston was prominently involved in Britain’s sole official slaving company at the time, the Royal African Company, which transported tens of thousands of Africans across the Atlantic Ocean, mainly to the Caribbean.

Bristol, an an international port, was a centre of the slave trade and benefited hugely financially.

Britain formally abolished the slave trade in 1807.

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It comes amid Black Lives Matter protests in the British capital. Source: Breakfast

A statue of Winston Churchill in London was also defaced by a protestor, who wrote that the former Prime Minister "was a racist" using black spray paint.