A statue of Belgium’s King Leopold II, who became ultra wealthy from the enslavement of Congolese people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was removed by the city of Antwerp in Belgium as the movement to remove monuments of racist figures gains momentum around the globe.
- The statue of King Leopold II, who reportedly oversaw the mass killing of 10 million Congolese people while amassing wealth from their work in rubber plantations, has been removed from Antwerp Square by the government after it was painted by protesters on Tuesday.
- Halfway across the world, officials in Texas removed a statue of Texas Rangers Capt. Jay Banks from Dallas International Airport on Tuesday due to the Texas Rangers’ history of racism and brutality against black and Latino people.
- On Sunday, protesters tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston and tossed it into the harbor in south-west England’s Bristol.
- London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Tuesday that London statues with links to slavery “should be taken down” and has set up a committee to review the city’s landmarks to make sure they reflect diversity.
- Last week Confederate monuments in Alexandria and Richmond, Virginia and Birmingham, Alabama, historically sources of controversy, were removed after being targeted by protesters.
Now the Colston School and music venue Colston Hall, both named after Edward Colston, a member of the Royal African Company, which transported about 80,000 Africans and sold them into slavery in the Americas, will be renamed, according to the BBC.
These statues of white male figures who played key roles in the legacy of racism have been quite controversial around the world for years. “In the space of 23 years this man killed more than 10 million Congolese without ever having set foot in the Congo," read an online petition to remove every Leopold II statue in Belgium, according to Al Jazeera.
Last week, a confederate soldier was removed in Alexandria, Virginia, by its owner the United Daughters of the Confederacy after it was graffitied by protesters. In Richmond, Virginia, statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate General Robert E. Lee were also tagged by protesters with slogans like “blood on your hands” and “no more white supremacy.”. While a long-controversial statue of former Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mayor Frank Rizzo, known for his violent policing of gay and black people was removed by the city after it became a target of protesters.