Black Lives Matter Protests and George Floyd Memorial Service

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In the British city of Bristol, protesters shot dead a statue of a 17th-century slave trader on Sunday as they demonstrated in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Protesters tied Edward Colston’s 5.5-metre (18-foot) bronze statue with a rope before knocking it over, to cheers from the surrounding crowd.

Activists were then seen rolling the statue towards the nearby port and throwing it into the Avon River.

Colston, who was born in Bristol in 1636, was an active member of the governing body of the Royal African Company (RAC) for 11 years, assuming the principal role of vice-governor from 1689 to 1690.

The company, which had a monopoly on the West African slave trade at the end of the 17th century, was involved in the sale of tens of thousands of people from West Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas.

Colston, who is described by the Bristol Museums website as a “revered philanthropist/vilis slave trader,” later donated some of his wealth to charitable causes, such as schools and hospitals, a process by which his name became synonymous with some of Bristol’s monuments.

The statue of Colston had been in Bristol city centre since 1895, but had become increasingly controversial, with petitions created to demand its removal.

Elsewhere in the UK: Massive demonstrations, with thousands of people, also took place in other major UK cities such as London and Edinburgh.

At least 12 people were arrested during protests in London, police said late on Sunday.

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