Historic statues torn down or defaced in protest
Bristol protesters recently threw a monument to a 17th-century slave trader in the river
© <p>Getty Images</p>
With the recent protests against racism sparked all over the world by the unjust deaths of Black US citizens like George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor, anti-racism demonstrators are tearing down and defacing statues of figures who upheld racist beliefs. These are monuments that were put up to mark history, but which have become increasingly seen as symbols of a dark legacy.
This equally symbolic action is not new, however, and has been taken in the past for both positive and negative causes. But what’s the same across the board is how effective the statement is. Besides not having a constant reminder of a power structure that opposes your current values, statues being torn down have often done more to inform people of history than the statues did in all the years they stood.
Click through this gallery to see how the monuments have become a focus of protests, and for remarkable instances of toppled statues from the past.
LIFESTYLE Animal kingdom
CELEBRITY Celebrity deaths
HEALTH Middle age