CAMPAIGNERS staged socially distanced protests at historic Glasgow statues this morning, calling on authorities to “sack the racists”.
Following on from the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, the anti-racism activists said they aimed to focus attention on the city’s “blood soaked” history of profiting from slavery and colonialism.
It comes as part of a day of mobilisation across UK social media today to publicise United Nations Anti Racism Day next month.
This morning masked activists visited statues in Glasgow which celebrate figures involved in the legacy of slavery and colonialism.
They protested at the John Moore statue in George Square and the Lord Roberts statue in Kelvingrove Park.
On Moore’s statue, protesters left a sign reading: “John Moore was a general who suppressed the slave revolt in the Caribbean island of St Lucia in 1796.
“There were many such revolts in the Caribbean after the French revolution.
“Racist histories often try to downplay the importance of these slave revolts in ending slavery – attributing abolition to the political efforts of well-connected white people.”
Ruby Hirsch of Glasgow Stand Up To Racism commented: “As Home Secretary Priti Patel calls Black Lives Matter protests ‘dreadful’ and sections of the media brand taking a knee as ‘divisive’, the anti-racist movement has been under attack.
“We will not be silenced, we will continue to make noise and take action against racism.
“Statues in this city that celebrate brutal racist colonialists who put down slave revolts are a symbol of how the legacy of slavery has never been properly addressed.
“We want to break from this blood-soaked history of oppression and create a society that celebrates the lives of the slaves who revolted, not the Lords who violently tried to keep them down.”
Discussing the states targeted, Hirsch added: “Glasgow could celebrate in statue those who called for an end to the barbaric trade, such as the former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass who toured Scotland in 1846 speaking at large meetings to abolish slavery, instead of these racists.”
More information on Glasgow’s statues can be found here.