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In what may be a little more honesty than intended, Black Lives Matter protesters in the United Kingdom ripped down a statue only to later replace it with a sculpture of one of their own.
The remarkable thing about the Black Lives Matter movement — which is based on a narrative not supported by recent statistics, that racially-motivated police brutality is rampant in America — is that it resonated across the pond. This being a testament to not only the power of pop culture, but just how strong hive-mind is in the year 2020.
A statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled by protesters last month and thrown in the Bristol Harbor, with the pedestal, or plinth, left empty.
And in the early morning hours Wednesday, a black and resin steel sculpture of BLM protester Jen Reid was erected on the platform, according to The Mirror.
Reid would later show up to say she “shed a tear” when she saw the statue of herself erected.
Of course, she was in on the jig all along, with The Guardian reporting that Reid said she had been secretly working with artist Marc Quinn on the idea for weeks.
“I feel elated. Excited. I’m full of pride,” she said. “I feel really, really proud.”
“I shed a tear, which took me by surprise,” Reid added. “It’s really emotional.”
A Black Lives Matter protester, Jen Reid, says she ‘shed a tear’ when she saw a sculpture of her replace that of the slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/BUb89Y3s55
— The Guardian (@guardian) July 15, 2020
Quinn had the new statue installed without permission from local authorities, when a team of 10 people showed up Wednesday before 5 am to quickly install the artwork.
The sculpture was based on a photo Reid’s husband had taken at last month’s protest, as she explained in the video below.
An image of #BlackLivesMatter protester Jen Reid standing on the plinth where Edward Colston’s statue was toppled has gone viral and inspired a new statue that has secretly been erected in its place.
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) July 15, 2020
And while rage mobs can decide on the spur of the moment which statutes can and cannot stand in the city, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said after Wednesday’s actions the future of the plinth and any memorials must be decided on by the city’s residents.
The mayor did not say if or when the new sculpture would be removed.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses from Twitter:
A statue of protester Jen Reid, and a further show of support for the Black Lives Matter cause has been erected in Bristol,England, where slave trader Edward Colston’s statue once stood. WHAT A MOMENT! pic.twitter.com/32T3BhthXP
— nathan (@868nathan) July 15, 2020
In other news, now in bristol stands a statue of Jen Reid, a blm protester, where a disgusting statue of edward colston used to. I’m so proud of my city and even prouder to have been there to tear the old statue down.. #BLM pic.twitter.com/rJJnkU3Z0k
— freyaᴴ 🍉 (@freyachantal) July 15, 2020
Fascism 101. Remove statues and burn books.
— Tarkhan (@Tarkhan13473405) July 15, 2020
Replacing a slavery with a marxist isn’t a step forward.
— Dirk Hornbeck (@DirkTheRed) July 15, 2020
I thought that was a white power salute. At least is was a few weeks ago when a Trump supporter did it.
— Paul Robinson (@haztrainer1) July 15, 2020
I’m not so sure that it’s a good message to replace an illegally-removed statue with a new statue of the people who tore the first one down. That seems like it creates some perverse incentives.
— Rational Policy (@ratlpolicy) July 15, 2020
This is exactly what communists do, tear down history and replace with an ideological meaningless statue. If this isn’t challenged by the government and the people of this nation it will be a very bumpy road we are heading down
— JAXSUIT👨🏼💼 (@JaxSuit) July 15, 2020
Let’s see whether Bristol Council have the balls to take it down. You can’t just go putting up statues without public consultation. Where will it all bloody end ?
— WhyDontChaWakeUp (@WhyDontChaWake1) July 15, 2020
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