Black Lives Matter Statue Erected in Place of Toppled UK Monument
Statue of BLM activist appears in Bristol on Edward Colston's old plinth
A Black Lives Matter statue has been erected in Bristol, UK, on the plinth where one of the city's historical monuments was toppled by protesters last month.
The figure of BLM activist Jen Reid appeared on Edward Colston's old plinth on Wednesday with a cardboard placard reading "black lives still matter" placed at the base.
Last month, the statue of Colston, an 18th-century slave trader, was torn down, dragged a third of a mile, and thrown into the Bristol harbor.
His remaining empty plinth was filled in a secret dawn operation with a monument to Reid - who was photographed during the toppling with her fist raised after Colston fell in early June.
The black resin and steel statue, titled "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020," was erected in an operation at 5 am on Wednesday.
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees slammed the move, however.
"I understand people want expression, but the statue has been put up without permission," Rees said in a statement.
"Anything put on the plinth outside of the process we've put in place will have to be removed.
"The people of Bristol will decide its future."
The mayor said he has established a "history commission," which will help authorities "decide on city memorials and the future of the plinth."
Activist Reid, a descendant of Jamaican immigrants, had attended the march on June 7 with husband Alasdair Doggart, who helped roll the statue of Colston into the river when it was pulled down.
Mayor Rees warned the BLM statue would be removed by the city and it was later taken down by authorities on Thursday morning.
Council contractors were seen removing the statue at around 5.20 am on Thursday.
Bristol City Council said in a statement: "This morning we removed the sculpture.
"It will be held at our museum for the artist to collect or donate to our collection."
Mayor Rees said in a statement that whatever replaces the Colston statue "must be decided by the people of Bristol," "tell our full history" and be subject to consultation.
In response, activist Reid said she hoped the council would let it stay there permanently.