Edward Colston statue pulled down

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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Fishnut » Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:38 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:27 pm
Apart from them being Woodchopper links not BoaF.
So they are, apologies for mixing them up.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:40 pm

monkey wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:17 pm
For an unsuccessful one, didn't them Heathrow Airport protestors a few years back get found guilty whilst giving a similar defence a go?
And there have been several criminal damage convictions for Extinction Rebellion protestors in recent years. IMHO it would still be risky for a protestor to rely upon an acquittal.

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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:44 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:05 pm
But the arguments made and the decision reached by the jury are not in any way unprecedented and anyone treating them otherwise needs to calm down.
I wonder whether all the outrage will make similar acquittals more likely in the future. Potential jury members are being informed that its an option whatever the judge says.

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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:52 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:38 pm
lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:27 pm
Apart from them being Woodchopper links not BoaF.
So they are, apologies for mixing them up.
No problem. BoaF is much more intelligent and better looking than I am.

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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Fishnut » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:01 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:44 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:05 pm
But the arguments made and the decision reached by the jury are not in any way unprecedented and anyone treating them otherwise needs to calm down.
I wonder whether all the outrage will make similar acquittals more likely in the future. Potential jury members are being informed that its an option whatever the judge says.
That's definitely something others are wondering.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Fishnut » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:09 pm

This is a useful piece, in part doing a much more succinct version of my previous post but providing more context.
In June the UK’s highest court quashed the convictions of Nora Ziegler and three others who had formed a blockade outside a London arms fair, saying there must be a test of “proportionality” weighing up the defendants’ rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly against the disruption caused. The defence of proportionality was subsequently used in the DLR and Colston cases.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Gfamily » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:25 pm

It's not just juries, a Judge at Magistrates Court may also accept that not all deliberate damage is criminal damage
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by dyqik » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:28 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 7:00 pm
Is it just me who thinks the defence made some good points then?
No, it's not. The defense made serious and plausible points, which a sober and careful jury could use to find the defendants not guilty, even if they were not inclined to join that kind of protest or support that kind of action.

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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:36 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:40 pm
monkey wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:17 pm
For an unsuccessful one, didn't them Heathrow Airport protestors a few years back get found guilty whilst giving a similar defence a go?
And there have been several criminal damage convictions for Extinction Rebellion protestors in recent years. IMHO it would still be risky for a protestor to rely upon an acquittal.
I think a key difference here is the nature of what was damaged.

This wasn't just a protest that got out of hand, or symbolic damage against a company's headquarters or something. The statue itself was problematic, sufficiently so that there had already been various initiatives to have it removed. Due to the offence it was causing its value was negative, unlike an aeroplane or a building.

A lot of the defence case was about the indecency/abusiveness of the statue's presence, which isn't really an argument that easily transfers to many other cases.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by dyqik » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:54 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:36 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:40 pm
monkey wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:17 pm
For an unsuccessful one, didn't them Heathrow Airport protestors a few years back get found guilty whilst giving a similar defence a go?
And there have been several criminal damage convictions for Extinction Rebellion protestors in recent years. IMHO it would still be risky for a protestor to rely upon an acquittal.
I think a key difference here is the nature of what was damaged.

This wasn't just a protest that got out of hand, or symbolic damage against a company's headquarters or something. The statue itself was problematic, sufficiently so that there had already been various initiatives to have it removed. Due to the offence it was causing its value was negative, unlike an aeroplane or a building.

A lot of the defence case was about the indecency/abusiveness of the statue's presence, which isn't really an argument that easily transfers to many other cases.
I think the closest apolitical kind of thing you could come up with is vandalism to something that caused unnecessary loud noises, bad smells, or something like bright lights that shone at on houses at night.

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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:23 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:11 pm
The defence lawyers have certainly been throwing some hilarious shade on the racist statue.
Except it wasn't a racist statue. It was erected long after he was dead because of Colston's philanthropy and politics. If anything, it served as a reminder of the history of the area. If it had never been erected there would have been far fewer people as well informed.

It was pulled down because it's a lot easier to re-fight battles from history than to do something useful today.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:22 am

Wow, real "statues teach us history" posting! Amazeballs.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by secret squirrel » Sat Jan 08, 2022 4:11 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:22 am
Wow, real "statues teach us history" posting! Amazeballs.
This is why I have an 11 ft statue of Stalin in my garden.*


* This is a joke. I don't have a garden.

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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Tessa K » Sat Jan 08, 2022 9:50 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:32 pm
Vigilante manslaughter/murder of a paedophile, for instance, might do it.
Jimmy Savile's grave and a cottage he owned in Scotland were repeatedly vandalised.

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/ne ... als-again/

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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Grumble » Sat Jan 08, 2022 10:11 am

Tessa K wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 9:50 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:32 pm
Vigilante manslaughter/murder of a paedophile, for instance, might do it.
Jimmy Savile's grave and a cottage he owned in Scotland were repeatedly vandalised.

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/ne ... als-again/
Good point, will the Home Secretary push for prosecution of the perpetrators of this criminal damage to the memorial of a man who did so much for charity?
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Jan 08, 2022 10:52 am

We should put statues of child abusers in every town square to teach kids about the dangers of nonces.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Fishnut » Sat Jan 08, 2022 12:36 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:23 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:11 pm
The defence lawyers have certainly been throwing some hilarious shade on the racist statue.
Except it wasn't a racist statue. It was erected long after he was dead because of Colston's philanthropy and politics. If anything, it served as a reminder of the history of the area. If it had never been erected there would have been far fewer people as well informed.

It was pulled down because it's a lot easier to re-fight battles from history than to do something useful today.
OK. Confession time. For a very long time I had confused Colston's statue with that of Edmund Burke that also stands in the city centre. I only realised my confusion when I went to Bristol after the Colston statue came down and saw it was still standing (yes, I know they have different poses, and Burke's says his name very prominently on the base, but I really didn't look that closely at boring statues of old white guys, especially when I'm crossing the centre, dodging bikes on invisible cycle paths* and trying not to miss my bus). I knew Colston from the Colston Hall, from Colston Street and from Colston Girls School, not from the statue. While growing up I wouldn't have been able to tell you a single thing about the man, and it would have taken some proper consideration to realise there was a man behind the name. It was just a name that cropped up around the place.

It was only with the campaign (prominently backed by Massive Attack) to rename the Colston Hall that really got me aware of who Colston was and what he did. Despite being educated in Bristol at a good school I learned nothing about the slave trade. I certainly never learned anything about Bristol's central role in it. It was mostly through osmosis that I came to understand where the city's wealth came from (and, in more recent years, through actively trying to learn about it).

That's not to say that there haven't been people campaigning for a reckoning with the city's past for a long time - they have - but it's been very easy for people to - ignore isn't the right word, as we weren't even aware there was anything to ignore. I've felt there's been more discussion about the city's past in recent years but I don't know if that's a true reflection of the situation or it's just that I'm paying attention now. The statue has been subject of a lot of campaigning because, I suspect, it should have been an easy win. It's a statue that most people don't know or care about, was supposedly owned by the people of Bristol (so you'd think they should have some say in it), and really isn't that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. And previous campaigns usually asked for a very modest explanatory plaque to be put up, rather than its removal. But even a plaque was apparently too much and was eventually scrapped.

My point to this rambling mess is that the statue was in no way a "reminder of the history of the area" and did absolutely nothing to ensure that people were "well informed". People have become far better informed about Colston since the statue came down.

* The newest layout of the city centre (the 3rd that I remember in my lifetime) has become a sort of dual-use nightmare. They have cycle paths on the pedestrianised bits but because (I guess) using clearly-different coloured paving slabs or using any sort of prominent marker would look ugly, they have gone for the subtlest of indicators (light grey vs dark grey stone, iirc) to indicate where the bikes can go. I have absolutely no idea where it is safe to walk so my normal strategy is to just cross as fast as possible and be ready to dodge bikes and scooters. It was in this reformatting of the centre that they moved Colston from a very out-of-the-way location to the more prominent one it occupied until its removal in 2020.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Little waster » Sat Jan 08, 2022 12:44 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:22 am
Wow, real "statues teach us history" posting! Amazeballs.
In the spirit of compromise how about we all settle on “chucking statues in rivers teach us history”.

It could become an annual event like Bonfire Night, where every 7th June we chuck an inappropriate statue into a nearby body of water in order to trigger a discussion over whether that statue should even exist. If the defenders win it gets re-erected with a renewed sense of appreciation, if not it is left to moulder away surrounded by old traffic cones and broken prams.

IIRC there’s a Maggie one not far from the Thames in Westminster.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by shpalman » Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:11 pm

Little waster wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 12:44 pm
... there’s a Maggie one not far from the Thames in Westminster.
There isn't one in Grantham.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:24 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 12:36 pm
My point to this rambling mess is that the statue was in no way a "reminder of the history of the area" and did absolutely nothing to ensure that people were "well informed". People have become far better informed about Colston since the statue came down.
Good post as ever from our Bristolian correspondent.

This bit is also why taking the statue down was doing something useful in the present (forcing a confrontation with the legacy of slavery), rather than "refighting a battle from the past" whatever the f.ck that's supposed to mean - obviously the people who took the statue down know that slavery is still abolished. And it wasn't easy, either, as the history of failed attempts and present political harassment through the courts shows.

Really impressive that somebody could be wrong multiple times per sentence, in really boring ways, but I salute the generosity of your response. I thought everyone with half a brain had already laughed at and dismissed the "eRaSiNg HiStOrY" guff 18 months ago.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Cardinal Fang » Sat Jan 08, 2022 6:53 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:23 am
It was pulled down because it's a lot easier to re-fight battles from history than to do something useful today.
Out of curiosity - how do you feel about the USAdians pulling down that statue of Saddam Hussein? How about Iron Curain countries taking down statues of Lenin? The Taliban blowing up statues of Buddha? If North Korea overthrew the current regime, do you think they'd be justfied in taking down the statues of Kim Jung Blah the first, second and third, nor not? Could you point me in the direction of the criteria that says "taking down these good, taking down these bad"?

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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Iron Magpie » Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:44 pm

science_fox wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:54 pm
In an unlikely turn of events Ress-Mogg says something more reasonable than his Tory colleagues https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-59893024
"Juries must be free to come to decisions that they choose to come to on the facts that are in front of them in relation to a specific case and what they hear from the prosecuting counsel, from the defence counsel and from the judge," he said.
Rees Mogg in the right????
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:44 am

Fishnut wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 12:36 pm
It was only with the campaign (prominently backed by Massive Attack) to rename the Colston Hall that really got me aware of who Colston was and what he did. Despite being educated in Bristol at a good school I learned nothing about the slave trade. I certainly never learned anything about Bristol's central role in it. It was mostly through osmosis that I came to understand where the city's wealth came from (and, in more recent years, through actively trying to learn about it).
So if nothing had been named after Colston and there had been no statue, you would never have learned any of that stuff? I think that proves my point.
My point to this rambling mess is that the statue was in no way a "reminder of the history of the area" and did absolutely nothing to ensure that people were "well informed". People have become far better informed about Colston since the statue came down.
The statue couldn't have come down if it hadn't been up in the first place.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jan 09, 2022 2:09 am

Cardinal Fang wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 6:53 pm
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:23 am
It was pulled down because it's a lot easier to re-fight battles from history than to do something useful today.
Out of curiosity - how do you feel about the USAdians pulling down that statue of Saddam Hussein? How about Iron Curain countries taking down statues of Lenin? The Taliban blowing up statues of Buddha? If North Korea overthrew the current regime, do you think they'd be justfied in taking down the statues of Kim Jung Blah the first, second and third, nor not? Could you point me in the direction of the criteria that says "taking down these good, taking down these bad"?
I think it's clear that the Saddam Hussein statue was pulled down as part of an active war - to provide propaganda. It certainly wasn't re-fighting a battle long over. Things like Lenin and the Kims, are likely to be current events. While such destruction is likely pointless, where there is a significant number of people who still support the person or cause it represents it can serve to demoralise them by showing the strength of the opposition. Since Buddha and Buddhists are no threat to the Taliban, their actions were obviously just pure vandalism.

But you seem to have confused two senses of good and bad. Something can be good for one group of people and bad for another. Pulling down a statue might be good for some casuse and yet bad for history. It would be nice to have more statues from antiquity, regardless of who they are.
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Re: Edward Colston statue pulled down

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jan 09, 2022 2:10 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:24 pm
obviously the people who took the statue down know that slavery is still abolished.
I expect they do suffer from that delusion.
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