Protesters in UK’s Bristol on Sunday tore down the statue of a 17th-century slave trader as anti-racism protests, prompted by the death of African-American man George Floyd in US police custody, continued across the country for a second day, reports said.
In London, where largely peaceful demonstrations on Saturday were marred by some clashes with police, thousands of protesters massed for a second day outside the US embassy in London before moving towards Whitehall, the BBC reported.
Protests were also reported from Manchester, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
In Bristol, protesters used ropes to pull down the bronze statue of Edward Colston, a prominent 17th Century slave trader, who has been a source of controversy in the city for many years.
Colston, who died in 1721, was a member of the Royal African Company, which transported about 80,000 men, women and children from Africa to the Americas.
After the statue was toppled, a protester posed with his knee on the figure’s neck – reminiscent of the video showing Floyd, who died while being restrained so by a Minnesota police officer.
The statue was later dragged through the streets of Bristol and thrown into the harbour. The empty plinth was used as a makeshift stage for protesters.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, however, called the tearing down of the statue “utterly disgraceful”, adding that “it speaks to the acts of public disorder that have become a distraction from the cause people are protesting about”, the BBC said.
“It’s right the police follow up and make sure that justice is undertaken with those individuals that are responsible for such disorderly and lawless behaviour,” she said.
In a statement, Avon & Somerset police said that there would be an investigation into the “act of criminal damage”.