June 10, 2020
News, Press releases

Topple the Racists

Stop Trump stands in full solidarity with Black Lives Matter activists across the world. Your fight is our fight.

We started the map of problematic statues across the UK as a crowd-sourced project that aims to highlight the complicity and history of Empire and slavery. This is a collaborative project that examines our public spaces, the history of wealth that built our towns and cities, and our understanding of our own history.

We are actively encouraging people to engage with the map, not just by submitting examples, but by reading through the ones listed, and providing different perspectives on historical figures who were elevated for some of their actions with no mention of their complicity in exploitation and racial violence.

Who are these men and what do we do with their statues? In the short space since the statue of Edward Colston went into the river, we have seen a sweeping wave of changes – from colleges, to councils to cultural institutions – various authorities are suddenly taking action to remove or rename monuments to slavers. We welcome this development and we recognise this would not have happened with the speed it has were it not for the BLM protestors in Bristol, so we offer our full solidarity. We also acknowledge that many more people have taken the time to learn about these exploitative figures from our collective past thanks to the work of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is high time this effort was matched by our education system as well, so we can have understanding and awareness, as well as empty statements of support to our black and ethnic minorities communities.

Now that the conversation has started, we invite institutions to engage with the public and their own history and find ways to educate about the uncomfortable links between wealth, philanthropy and colonialism. Monuments can find a new home in museums, or through art, and some might simply be removed. It is not our job to decide what happens. Glorifying colonialists and slavers has no place in a country serious about dismantling systemic racism and oppression, but education does.