Black Lives Matter protestors in England toppled a bronze statue of a notorious slave trader Sunday and dragged it into the Bristol harbor amid cheers, according to reports.
The statue of Edward Colston, a prominent 17th Century slave trader, which had stood near Floating Harbor since 1895, was pulled down by protestors with ropes, then plunged into the water as thousands of demonstrators flooded Bristol for the second straight day, the BBC reported.
Video posted on Twitter shows the statue tumbling off its pedestal as protestors celebrate and dance around it.
One demonstrator was seen kneeling on the statue’s neck after it hit the ground, mimicking the knee placed on the neck of George Floyd, who died while being pinned down by Minneapolis police on May 25 and sparked worldwide protests against police brutality.
Colston, who died in 1721, was a successful merchant in Bristol when it was an important slave-trading port.
He was considered an important figure in the growth of the city, but has been increasingly viewed as a controversial figure and a symbol of the growth of slavery and racial intolerance, Bristol Live said.
A petition with more than 11,000 signatures has been circulating in the city to have the statue removed.
“Statues are about saying, “This was a great man who did great things,” historian David Olusoga told the BBC. “That is not true. He was a slave trader and a murderer.”
As many as 10,000 demonstrators converged on the city in Southern England, which is about 120 miles west of London, over the weekend, holding “Black Lives Matter” signs and chanting “I can’t breathe” Floyd’s plea as he was pinned by police.
Protests sparked by Floyd’s death have erupted in dozens of cities across five continents outside of the US, where national protests entered their 13th day Sunday.