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Protesters throw slave merchant Edward Colston statue at the port of Bristol during the Black Lives Matter protest rally in Bristol, England, on 7 June. Ben Birchall / PA / AP

In Bristol, England, protesters showed that they were in solidarity with the Black Life Clause movement, while they were sculpting the 17th Century slave trader on Sunday.

The protesters tied Edward Colston’s 5.5-meter bronze statue to the cheers of the crowd surrounding the rope before it was toppled.

The demonstrators then rolled the statue to the nearby port and threw it into the Avon River.

Born in Bristol in 1636, Colston was an active member of the governing body of the Royal African Company (RAC) for 11 years, taking the top role of the deputy governor between 1689-90.

The company, which had a monopoly on the slave trade in west Africa in the late 17th century, dealt with the sales of tens of thousands of west African people in the Caribbean and America.

As described by Colston Bristol Museums website As a “respected philanthropist / revised slave trader,” he later donated some of his wealth to philanthropic reasons such as schools and hospitals, to a process where his name made it synonymous with certain Bristol locations.

The Colston statue has been standing in downtown Bristol since 1895, but has become increasingly controversial with petitions demanding removal.

In other parts of the UK: Mass protests involving thousands of people took place in other major cities such as London and Edinburgh.

Police said late Sunday that at least 12 people were arrested in protests in London.

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