Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela’s Statues In London Boarded Up Ahead Of Protests: Mahatma Gandhi’s Statue In London Boarded Up Forward Of Protests.
Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela’s Statues In London Boarded Up Ahead Of Protests
London: The statue of Mahatma Gandhi in London’s Parliament Sq. is amongst a number of monuments being lined and boarded up in London forward of one other set of deliberate protests, which erupted after the custodial killing of African-American George Floyd.
The steps under Mahatma Gandhi’s statue and the sculpture of former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill close by have been amongst these focused with graffiti throughout anti-racism Black Lives Matter protests final weekend, which led to violent clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement officials on responsibility.
Extra clashes are feared this weekend as anti-racist teams in addition to far-right our bodies are planning rival demonstrations within the UK capital.
“The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Sq. is a everlasting reminder of his achievement in saving this nation – and the entire of Europe – from a fascist and racist tyranny,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned in a Twitter assertion, as he urged folks to steer clear of additional protests amid fears of extra violence.
“It’s absurd and shameful that this nationwide monument ought to as we speak be prone to assault by violent protestors. Sure, he generally expressed opinions that have been and are unacceptable to us as we speak, however he was a hero, and he totally deserves his memorial,” he mentioned.
Johnson mentioned that whereas he understands the “reliable emotions of shock” on the custodial loss of life of Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis on Could 25, the protests held within the UK in solidarity have been “hijacked by extremists” intent on violence.
“The assaults on the police and indiscriminate acts of violence which we’ve got witnessed over the past week are insupportable and they’re abhorrent. The assaults on the police and indiscriminate acts of violence which we’ve got witnessed over the past week are insupportable and they’re abhorrent,” he mentioned.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan additionally urged Londoners to steer clear of the protests, with fears of clashes between anti-racism and far-right demonstrators.
“I am extraordinarily involved that additional protests in central London not solely threat spreading COVID-19, however might result in dysfunction, vandalism and violence. Excessive far-right teams who advocate hatred and division are planning counter-protests, which signifies that the danger of dysfunction is excessive,” mentioned Khan.
“Be in little question these counter-protests are there to impress violence, and their solely purpose is to distract and hijack this necessary situation. Staying house and ignoring them is the very best response this weekend,” he mentioned.
Khan confirmed that the Metropolitan Police have been engaged on a “strong” policing plan to maintain Londoners protected and to forestall dysfunction, together with masking up key landmarks.
“Along with our companions, we’re guaranteeing that key statues and monuments in danger, together with the Cenotaph, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela, are lined and guarded,” he mentioned.
The Mayor’s workplace confirmed that Mahatma Gandhi’s statue can be among the many monuments being protected. Graffiti with the phrase “racist” close to the statue at Parliament Sq., which wasn’t on the precise plinth as within the case of Churchill’s sculpture, had evoked some anguish on social media amongst Indian expatriates teams.
Since then, a brand new petition calling for the elimination of one other Gandhi statue within the UK metropolis of Leicester has attracted hundreds of signatures, additionally triggering countering reactions.
“Gandhi has proven us that organised peaceable resistance could be a drive for change,” mentioned Claudia Webbe, the native Labour Occasion MP for Leicester East, as she threw her assist behind the town’s statue.
Leicester Metropolis Council has mentioned the petition calling for its elimination can be “thought of” as a part of a wider assessment of the town’s statues, road and constructing names, an train being performed by totally different native authorities throughout Britain within the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests concentrating on particular statues seen as paying homage to Britain’s slave buying and selling and colonial previous.