Skip to content

Statues

Protestors Toppled Statue Of Canada’s First Prime Minister

On August 14, protestors in Canada toppled a statue of John A. Macdonald, the country’s first prime minister. Macdonald was responsible for some of the most atrocious crimes against Indigenous people. This includes instituting a policy of starving Indigenous people in order to clear lands where they lived for building the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

Statues Of Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II Toppled

Demonstrators toppled statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II in Winnipeg Thursday as outrage grows in Canada over the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of Indigenous children. Reuters reports a group of protesters gathered at the Manitoba legislature and pulled down the statue of Queen Victoria on Canada Day, an annual holiday that celebrates the Canadian Confederation.

Colombia Removes Statues Of Columbus And Spanish Queen After Attacks

Colombia’s culture ministry removed statues of 15th-century explorer Christopher Columbus and Spain’s late Queen Isabella amid fears they would be tumbled. Government workers removed the statues from their pedestals in the capital Bogota on Friday after native Colombian protesters tried to tumble them on Wednesday. The attempts triggered tensions with a fringe white supremacist group that subsequently tried to attack the protesters of the Misak people from southwest Colombia. According to the Culture Ministry, the statues that were erected in 1906 were taken to a safe place for “a process of restauration.” The National Patrimony agency said that it would hold talks with different social sectors about the future of the European explorer and the late monarch who financed the naval adventure that led Columbus to the Americas.

Monument To Colonialism Toppled On Indigenous Peoples’ Day

New Mexico - Visitors to the historic plaza in Santa Fe, a bastion of liberalism in northern New Mexico, will find a charming square in the Spanish colonial style, surrounded by shops selling native wares — typically sold by non-native peoples — and a monument at the center of it all celebrating the slaughter of the area's original, commercially monetized inhabitants. At least until Monday, when protesters marked Indigenous Peoples' Day by tying a chain around the monument, managing to topple it amid clashes with police.

How To Remember A Feminist Movement That Hasn’t Ended

Increasing outrage from critics over what the New York Times’ Brent Staples called the monument’s “lily-white version of history.” The proposed monument, wrote another critic in a similar vein, “manages to recapitulate the marginalization Black women experienced during the suffrage movement,” as when white organizers forced Black activists to walk at the back of a 1913 women’s march on Washington. Historian Martha Jones in an op-ed in the Washington Post criticized the way the planned monument promoted the “myth” that the fight for women’s rights was led by Anthony’s and Stanton’s “narrow, often racist vision,” and called for adding escaped slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights promoter Sojourner Truth. Although the New York City Public Design Commission had approved the design with just Anthony and Stanton, Monumental Women did indeed rework the monument, adding a portrait of Truth in June 2019. The sculptor would later make additional smaller changes in response to further criticism about her depiction of Truth, including changing the positioning of her hands and body to make her a more active participant in the scene.

When Impossible Becomes Inevitable: The Fall Of ‘Petty Racism’

The removal of Confederate statues around Richmond, Va., had a personal resonance for me, a Richmond native who once lived around the corner from the Robert E. Lee monument – the only one of the five monuments to rebel figures still (as I write this) standing on Monument Avenue. I used to go jogging on the avenue’s median starting at Lee, veering around Jefferson Davis and turning to retrace my steps as I approached Stonewall Jackson. As Leon Trotsky said, “revolution is impossible until it’s inevitable.” He spoke from experience; the socialist revolution he sought seemed stuck in neutral until the events of 1917 opened the floodgates. Suddenly, Confederate statues began to fall one by one, not just in Richmond or Virginia but wherever they stood. DC’s only public monument to a Confederate figure – General Albert Pike – was pulled down and burned by activists on Juneteenth.

Toppling Statues As An Act Of Historical Redemption

The brutal murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police set off an unprecedented wave of protests. In a highly publicized, graphic execution, Floyd was killed in broad daylight for possession of an alleged counterfeit bill. The ensuing rebellion of global dimensions is undoubtedly fueled by the exposure to uncertainty, stress and anxiety that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated. In the United States and beyond, frustration and anger at unprepared and incompetent governments overlap with the pressures of systemic racism, seen in sheer wealth gaps and repressive state practices. Across the pond, protests have also erupted in Britain. In a context of recession and repression, it is common for widespread rebellions to flare up at instances of injustice.

Pulling Down Statues: A Tradition Dating Back To US Independence

Fireworks, bands, and cookouts are essential ingredients of any Fourth of July celebration. What’s usually not on the menu is toppling statues, ripping down signs, or burning portraits. But in the days following the new nation’s declaration of independence, Americans went on a frenzy of destruction that makes today’s attacks on Confederate and other symbols of white supremacy pale by comparison. The most dramatic act took place in New York City on July 9, 1776. Early that evening, General George Washington and his troops, along with hundreds of citizens, crowded into what is now City Hall Park to hear a reading of the document that had just arrived from Philadelphia. The enthusiastic throng then headed for Broadway and the two-ton equestrian statue of King George III on Bowling Green.

The US Should Stop Lying About Its History

Well, it’s amazing how quickly we can not only respond, but call for the prosecution of people who are rightly tearing down and removing lies, because that’s what it is when we erect statues and edifices to people who have brutalized, who have murdered, who have stolen, we are lying, as a country, not just to ourselves, but to the world. And so, I think what we saw on July 4th in Baltimore City, was truth-seekers and truth-tellers, in essence, saying, “We are no longer going to condone this lie,” and this is a lie that is not only represented in statues, but it’s also represented in school curriculums. This is why we need to have a conversation about how school curriculums perpetuate white supremacy, and we continue to teach our children an inaccurate account of history, and we continue to glorify and deify people who should not be placed on a pedestal, but who should be understood as murderers, as thieves, as liars.

Churchill, Columbus And Leopold All Fall Down

The perpetrators of crimes against humanity are often elevated to positions of respect and admiration. It all depends on who did the killing, and who was killed. Now the murderers are being called to account. The new movement in the United States against police and other state violence has inspired this welcome change taking place all over the world. The criminals are being exposed decades and even centuries after their atrocities took place. There is no statute of limitations for murder nor should there be for calling out people who have the blood of millions on their hands. The hand wringing over monument removal is not just connected to reverence for these individuals. While millions of people want change, millions more do not and they hold on to Columbus or Leopold or Churchill or Robert E. Lee because their identity and place in society are firmly tied to white supremacy. If a Columbus statue comes down so might a small portion of white entitlement and its privileges. The monuments to genocide must come down.

Four Giant Reasons To Remove The Statues

I’m a descendant of General Robert E. Lee. My family also descends from George Washington and John Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court. (The oligarchy was a rather small club back in the day.) And I, along with many other Lee descendants, say: Remove the statues. Yet, this week President Donald Trump has made it his mission to catch and prosecute those who have taken down statues. I’m positive he’s not doing it out of any racist ideology, although it doesn’t help that he also retweeted a white power message soon afterwards.   With that said, here are four exceedingly stupid reasons to keep the statues in place, and how to refute them. If you agree with any of these arguments… ummm, stop doing that.

Four Charged For Trying To Tear Down Statue Of President Andrew Jackson

Four men have been charged with the destruction of federal property for allegedly trying to tear down a statue of US President Andrew Jackson in Washington, DC last week, according to a statement from the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. The men are accused of damaging and attempting to tear down a statue depicting Jackson on June 20 in Lafayette Square, a seven-acre public park that sits right across the street from the White House and has been the site of racial inequality protests in recent weeks. The four men charged are 47-year-old Lee Michael Cantrell from Virginia, 20-year-old Connor Matthew Judd from Washington, DC, 37-year-old Ryan Lane from Maryland, and 37-year-old Graham Lloyd from Maine.

DC Protesters Try To Pull Down Andrew Jackson Statue Near White House

Protesters tried to pull down a statue of President Andrew Jackson near the White House Monday night before being dispersed by police. Police used pepper spray to move protesters out of Lafayette Square, where the Jackson statue is located. Videos posted on social media showed that the protesters had climbed on the statue and tied ropes around it, then tried to pull it off its pedestal. The statue shows Jackson in a military uniform, riding a horse that is rearing on its hind legs. The 19th-century president’s ruthless treatment of Native Americans has made his statue a target of demonstrators protesting the United States’ legacy of racial injustice.

How To Effectively And Safely Topple A Statue Using Science

From Bristol, England to Birmingham, Alabama, people all over the world have been grappling with the legacy of racism by tossing their grappling hooks around the heads of problematic monuments. Should you happen to find yourself near a statue that you decide you no longer like, we asked scientists for the best, safest ways to bring it to the ground without anyone getting hurt—except, of course, for the inanimate racist who’s been dead for a century anyway. The force required to pull down a statue isn’t as great as you think, says mechanical engineer Scott Holland. Most statues are bronze, using an alloy of 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin and a maximum thickness of 3/16 of an inch. Holland says your average statue of a person tops out at around 3,500 pounds.

Group Behind Confederate Monuments Also Built A Memorial To The Klan

It was a Saturday. The mailman never comes to my door, but there was his knock. A couple days earlier I had ordered a book on Amazon that I had seen before only in a library. "Sorry to bother you," he said, "but I had to have you sign for this one." The return address on the padded manila envelope was a post office box in Charlotte, North Carolina. No name. I cut the shipping tape and carefully pulled out the contents, wrapped inside a grocery bag. The worn 1941 first edition of Mrs. S.L. Smith's "North Carolina's Confederate Monuments and Memorials" — one of the only compilations by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) itself, written by the historian of the North Carolina Division — had a new home.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.