Agents of change

Agents of change

The Black Lives Matter campaign exploded into life in Britain on 7 June, after the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was hurled into the harbour in Bristol by a furious group of protestors. Watching events unfold that day was Marvin Rees, a member of the BAME community and the city’s elected Mayor. And, as he explains, he hopes the controversy will act as an important agent of change.

Q: Do you endorse the statue of Edward Colston being thrown into Bristol harbour, or was it a legitimate form of protest?

I can’t endorse it as a civic leader, because it was criminal damage. I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t want the statue gone years ago, or that I mourn its passing. And I think it was poetic for a statue to be taken down, carried through the streets and thrown into the harbour, from the very quayside where some of his ships would have docked. It’s not just the statue, Colston’s name is all over the city. Colston had a drive to bring civic order to the city at a time when...

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