Friday, 18 Sep 2020

George Galloway defends toppling of statues – ‘Pigeons had my respect for s******g on it’

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The former Scottish politician told RT News viewers he believed some “evil” historical figures have no place in either the UK or in the US. Mr Galloway argued “criminals” from the British imperialist era should not be glorified with statues in Britain as he blasted: “Down with this statuary of English slave traders. There are a lot of wrong people standing on plinths, the length and breadth of Britain.

“That’s why pigeons have always had my respect having s**t on their heads for several centuries.

“There’s, of course, a whole panoply of criminals in British imperialist history and one or two golden moments too.

“The reality is that we can’t get rid of everyone who was associated in their time with evil thoughts or even every evil deed.

“But there are particularly gratuitous, egregious examples of evil, that have no place in the modern world, either in America or in Britain.”

On Friday, statues in Parliament Square, London, including Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were boarded up to prevent them being targeted by either side.

Last week, the statue of the UK’s war-time prime minister memorial was defaced with the words “was a racist”.

Met Commander Bas Javid, brother of former chancellor Sajid, said he understood the depth of feeling of protesters, but asked people not to come to London while shutdown rules are still in force.

“If you were planning to come to London, I again would urge you to reconsider, but if you are still intent, please familiarise yourself with what the conditions are,” he said.

“Please keep yourself safe by complying with government guidance on social distancing.”

Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate has said football gangs from West Ham, Chelsea, Millwall, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull and Spurs are among the groups planning on coming to London.

Far-right group Britain First has also said its members will attend.

On Friday, Boris Johnson expressed his dismay at the growing focus on removing statues in the wake of the toppling of the memorial to slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol on June 7.

More than 60 other statues are now listed as targets on a website called Topple the Racists.

The Prime Minister said to take statues down would “be to lie about our history”.

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Mr Johnson, in a series of social media posts, said: “We cannot pretend to have a different history.

“Those statues teach us about our past, with all its faults.”

The Bristol-based organisation the Society of Merchant Venturers, has come out in support of the removal of Colston’s statue.

The society has been accused of blocking previous attempts to have the statue removed or the plaque amended to include details of Colston’s role in the slave trade.

It said on Friday: “To build a city where racism and inequality no longer exist, we must start by acknowledging Bristol’s dark past and removing statues, portraits and names that memorialise a man who benefited from trading in human lives.”

It apologised for interfering in attempts to reword Colston’s plaque in 2018, adding: “As we look forward, we are examining our own role within the city, how we collaborate with others and accelerate our part in ensuring that Bristol overcomes inequality and disadvantage wherever it exists.”

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