Great Britain: Slave statue turned upside down – protester acquitted

BRISTOL (AP) – Four people were acquitted in court after a statue of a slave-owner collapsed as part of an anti-racism protest in Bristol in 2020.

Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday announced at the end of a two-week trial that three men and one woman, aged 22 to 33, had been acquitted of criminal property damage charges.

During a Black Lives Matter protest on June 7, 2020, demonstrators overturn a statue of slave trader Edward Colston (1636-1721) and throw it in the nearby Harbor Basin. Although several protesters were involved in the fall of the statue, only four reached the court. In a video, he is shown tying a rope around the idol.

The defendant did not deny his role in the events of the court, but did not consider his actions criminal. Instead, he argued that the statue itself was a hate crime case. Its defense lawyers alleged that thousands had previously petitioned the removal of the statue erected in 1895 and urged the court to “stand on the right side of history”.

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