Four British activists who helped demolish a statue of a slave trader in Bristol on June 7, 2020 as part of the Black Lives Matter movement will not be punished. British media reported, on Wednesday, that a jury in western England acquitted them after a two-week protest.
At the time, there were massive protests in Britain against police brutality and racism. In Bristol, protesters pulled a controversial bronze statue of 17th century slave trader and MP Edward Colston from its pedestal and threw it into the water next to the port.
The four admitted that they were involved in the operation. According to them, the statue itself was a hate crime. Prosecutors said it was not Colston who was on trial.
“We are thrilled and stunned,” one of the four activists, Ryan Graham, said of the acquittal. There was loud applause from the public gallery.
The quartet wore T-shirts designed by the famous Bristol artist Banksy, who has started a campaign to cover legal costs. The shirts showed a blank base with ropes and some debris from the demolished statue.
The statue was removed from the port a few days after its release and now stands in a museum for the Black Lives Matter exhibit.
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