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A MONUMENT to a slave trader has been removed from London’s docklands after the Black Lives Matter protests – as cops shielded Winston Churchill’s statue from further damage.
The figure of Robert Milligan was taken down by a JCB from its plinth in West India Quay following a petition by a Labour MP.
Police formed a human shield around the Churchill statueCredit: PA:Press Association
Milligan is thought to have owned 526 African slaves who were forced to work on a plantation in JamaicaCredit: Reuters
Workers removed the statue of slave owner Robert Milligan from West India Quay in LondonCredit: Press Association
Workers can be seen removing the statue from its plinth after a similar one was toppled by protesters in Bristol over the weekendCredit: Reuters
Thousands turned out to the Oxford protestCredit: Sky News
Tower Hamlets Council authorised the removal of the figure by professionals this evening, meanwhile cops had to form a human shield to protect a monument to Winston Churchill in parliament Square.
In a statement on Twitter, the council said: Tonight, we have removed the statue of slave trader Robert Milligan that previously stood at West India Quay.
We have also announced a review into monuments and other sites in our borough to understand how we should represent the more troubling periods in our history.
Sharing footage of the moment the statue of Robert Milligan was removed, London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “The statue of slave trader Robert Milligan has now been removed from West India Quay.
“It’s a sad truth that much of our wealth was derived from the slave trade – but this does not have to be celebrated in our public spaces. #BlackLivesMatter”
Clashes were seen earlier in the evening between Black Lives Matter protesters and a group “protecting” a statue of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Sky News filmed clashes during a report from Parliament as the reporter told viewers: What you can see behind me is a group of anti-racism campaigners and a group of people who say they are protecting the statues – especially this one here of Winston Churchill which was graffittied [sic] at the weekend.
She added: There seems to be a bit of physical abuse here, as you can see.
A row of cops formed a human shield around the statue as crowds gathered around them this evening.
The statue in West India Quay was removed by workmenCredit: Reuters
The statue was taken away in a truckCredit: Press Association
Professionals strapped the monument into a lorryCredit: Press Association
Labour councils across the UK will now review their statues, monuments, plaques and street namesCredit: Press Association
Protesters gathered round the statue of Churchill in LondonCredit: PA:Press Association
Black Lives Matter protesters in LondonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The direct action from Scotland Yard comes after officers in Bristol were criticised for allowing angry protesters to tear down the statue of slavetrader Edward Colston last weekend.
There are now fears that similar statues could be torn down by groups of protesters, with Black Lives Matter leaders believed to have complied a list of controversial memorials they want targeted.
Mass peaceful protests took place over a statue Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College in Oxford University this evening, as thousands called for its removal.
The Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaign group has called for the image of the mining magnate and empire builder to be removed, saying the university has “failed to address its institutional racism”.
Hundreds of protesters gathered on Oxford High street to demand the statue be torn down.
Several speakers at the protest were part of the 2015 Rhodes Must Fall movement started by students in South Africa, including one man who claimed to be one of Oxford Uni’s seven Black professors.
He described “Black Lives Matter” as a “self evident truth”.
Another protester said the movement will “beg no more, Rhodes must fall,” adding: “Oxford is an anti-racist city”.
Meanwhile, the Churchill statue in Parliament Square was targeted during the largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests – as tens of thousands of people marched during rallies across the country.
Someone sprayed was a racist on the monuments plinth and scrawled a black line over the former Prime Ministers name.
The Mahatma Gandhi statue was similarly targeted with racist sprayed on it.
While a man was pictured trying to set fire to a Union Flag on the Cenotaph in Whitehall during Sunday’s rally.
A woman holds a Black Lives Matter sign in Market Square, OxfordCredit: Rex Features
Protesters take a knee in OxfordCredit: Rex Features
Oxford protesters pictured kneeling in solidarity with the BLM movementCredit: Rex Features
Police officers in oxford kneel in solidarity, meanwhile the Met Police have banned the practiceCredit: Rex Features
Protesters also gathered in Parliament Square to commemorate the life of George Floyd as his funeral took place in Minneapolis this evening.
Mr Floyd died on May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes as he cried out for his mother and told cops: “I can’t breathe”.
Mr Floyd’s death at the age of 46 has inspired worldwide demonstrations over racial injustice, police brutality and racism –  including in the UK.
As a result of the protests, fierce debate is brewing over statues with links to Britains imperial past and the slave trade, after the monument to 17th century slave trader Colston was toppled.
Furious anti-racism campaigners were filmed arguing with a group holding a St George’s flag by the monument in WestminsterCredit: Reuters
Police create a barricade around the statue of the WW2 leaderCredit: PA:Press Association
Scores turned out to the Oxford protestsCredit: Hyde News & Pictures Ltd
Scenes from Oxford show the packed high streetCredit: AFP or licensors
Protesters want the Cecil Rhodes statue removed from outside Oriel College in Oxford
Sadiq Khan has opened up a review into statues of slave owners, streets and squares named after the human traffickers across London.
The London Mayor has now created a new commission to look into pulling down “inappropriate” statues.
He told Sky News: “We’ve got to realise that our public realm statues, squares, street names don’t accurately reflect our values, or London, in 2020.
“I don’t condone at all any attacks on our police, any disorder or criminal damages.
Mr Khan said the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm would aim to have statues and memorials which “better reflect London” including the inclusion of more black, disabled andLGBTQ+ people.
And in Scotland, Adam McVey, leader of Edinburgh city council, told BBC Radio Scotland he would feel absolutely no sense of loss if the statue of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville responsible for delaying the abolition of the slave trade by 15 years, was removed from the 150ft Melville Monument.
And some 120 Labour councils have announced they will begin reviewing the statues and monuments in their towns across the UK.
The Local Government Association’s Labour group announced it has asked Labour council leaders to work with their communities to review “the appropriateness” of monuments and statues in their areas.
A statement posted on Twitter, signed by LGA Labour deputy leaders Anntoinette Bramble and Michael Payne, said: “LGA Labour have consulted with all Labour council leaders, and there is overwhelming agreement from all Labour councils that they will listen to and work with their local communities to review the appropriateness of local monuments and statues on public land and council property.”
We’ve got to realise that our public realm statues, squares, street names don’t accurately reflect our values, or London, in 2020.
Sadiq Khan
Anti-racism protesters have clashed with a group guarding the Winston Churchill statue from vandals in Westminster
Sky News filmed the groups during a furious row in Parliament Square
Protesters line Oxford’s historic streets brandishing Black Lives Matter signsCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
Some of the statues that could be part of the cull are slave traders and owners William Beckford, John Cass and Thomas Guy.
A statue of Robert Milligan has already been removed by professionals.
But Mr Khan explained not all statues would be included in the review – such as that of Churchill, whose memorial was defaced by protester who wrote he “was a racist” over the weekend.
The London Mayor added people needed to learn about famous figures “warts and all” and that “nobody was perfect.”
His comments come after Boris Johnson slammed protesters for taking the law into their own hands and pulling down the statue of Colston in Bristol over the weekend.
The PM said: “(We do not) desecrate public monuments, we have a democracy in this country.
“If you want to change the urban landscape, you can stand for election or vote for someone who will.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel also vowed to crack down on the minority who hijacked the Black Lives Matter protests.
She said violent action seen over the weekend was utterly indefensible.
Ms Patel told the Commons: I could not be clearer that I want to see the violent minority responsible arrested.
In a chilling warning, she added: There is no justification for it.”
On Sunday a police officer was thrown from her horse with dramatic footage showing the woman crashing to the ground after her animal bolted amid violent unrest in Whitehall, London.
Some protesters had chucked missiles – including a bike – at the animal, leaving it spooked.
It managed to make its way back to the stables uninjured, police confirmed – but the hero cop was left with “nasty” injuries, including a collapsed lung, MailOnline reports.
The Metropolitan Police have since banned cops from kneeling at the protests, saying taking the knee is not safe or appropriate.
Spelling out the no-knee ruling, the Met said: We know passions are running high and, like everyone, we were appalled by the images of George Floyd losing his life.
Taking the knee is a personal decision for officers. However, it is not safe or appropriate to do so in public order situations.
But Oxford cops were seen “taking the knee” at tonight’s protests.
A sign calling for the decolonisation of Oxford UniversityCredit: Reuters
A similar protest in Oxford calling for the removal of a statue of Imperialist Cecil Rhodes has seen hundreds of protesters gatherCredit: AFP or licensors
Protesters in Oxford hold signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as they protest a statue outside Oriel CollegeCredit: PA:Press Association
A man holds up a sign saying ‘equality matters’ as protesters gather in WhitehallCredit: AFP or licensors
Black Lives Matter protesters gather by a statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament SquareCredit: AP:Associated Press
Protesters gather wearing PPECredit: Getty Images – Getty
A man wearing a Millwall FC jumper was seen standing on guard by the Churchill statueCredit: Reuters
Born in 1746 Robert Milligan was a Scottish merchant and slave owner as well as a driving force in the construction in the building of Londons West India Docks.
He grew up on his familys sugar plantation in Jamaica before coming to London in 1779.
Milligan headed a group of powerful businessmen who planned and built West India Docks.
The Docks’ foundation stone was laid in July 1800, when Milligan was deputy chairman of the West India Dock Company.
The Docks officially opened just over two years later in August 1802.
Later, Milligan became the chairman of the company.
When Milligan died in 1809 he is said to have owned 528 slaves who worked on his sugar plantation.
The statue of Milligan, created by Richard Westmacott, was erected in May 1809.
Mass Black Lives Matter protest in Oxford against Cecil Rhodes statue
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