London's Muslim mayor seeks removal of slavery-linked statues amid BLM protests

London's Muslim mayor seeks removal of slavery-linked statues amid BLM protests
The mayor of London has formed a committee to review monuments and street names, after British protesters tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol.
3 min read
09 June, 2020
British protesters tore down the statue of renowned slave trader Edward Colston on Sunday [Getty]

London's Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan proposed the removal of statues and street names in the English capital linked to slavery, as anti-racism protests targeted a slave owner's statue.

Statues and street names in London with links to slavery "should be taken down", the city's mayor said, according to the BBC.

On Tuesday, Khan said in a tweet that a new commission was unveiled to review and "improve the diversity" of London's public landmarks.

The mayor's move comes after Black Lives Matter protesters in Bristol dismounted and toppled a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in a video which went viral.

According to the BBC, the newly formed commission will review London's murals, street art, street names, statues and other memorials and make recommendations on which legacies should be kept.

Khan told the outlet that London had "an uncomfortable truth" with historical links to slavery. "Our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade," he said.

Over a 100,000 people have signed online petitions calling for the removal of controversial statues and momuments around the capital.

On Tuesday, the Museum of London publicly announced it will be working to remove a statue of slave trader Robert Milligan, which stands right outside the building. 

"The Museum of London recognises that the monument is part of the ongoing problematic regime of white-washing history, which disregards the pain of those who are still wrestling with the remnants of the crimes Milligan committed against humanity," the museum wrote in an Instagram post.

The museum said it was working with a consortium to remove the statue over its historic links to colonial violence and exploitation.

Read more: UK slave trader's statue toppled in anti-racism protests

The US-initiated Black Lives Matter protests were reignited globally following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The BLM movement also prompted two of the UK's top tea brands to voice their support for anti-racism activism with the hashtag #solidaritea

In a public remark, Yorkshire Tea responsed to a tweet from Yorkshire-based YouTuber, Laura Towler, who expressed satisfaction that the brand had not yet come out in support of the movement.

"Please don't buy our tea again. We're taking some time to educate ourselves and plan proper action before we post. We stand against racism," the company said. This comment was later joined with PG Tips which also voiced its stance against racism.

"If you are boycotting teas that stand against racism, you're going to have to find two new brands now #blacklivesmatter #solidaritea," PG Tips wrote in response.

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