Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke out against the demolition of monuments to historical figures, called for by a number of participants of protest actions against racism that began in different countries after the death in the U.S. African-American George Floyd at the hands of the police. About this he wrote on his page in Facebook.
In the course of the protests, vandals using spray paint crossed out the name of the Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the plate and left there is this inscription “was racist.” In Bristol, protesters tore down and threw into the water the statue of Edward Colston, who in the seventeenth century, grew rich on the trade of West African slaves.
The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has ordered a review of the statues and the names of the streets of the British capital on the subject of racism.
“Statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament square is a constant reminder of his achievements in saving this country and all of Europe from the fascist and racist tyranny,” said Johnson. However, he acknowledged that sometimes Churchill expressed the opinion, “unacceptable to us today.”
In his view, the monuments are a reminder of the history and learn the past with all its mistakes.
“We can’t try to edit or to censor our past. We can’t pretend that we have a different story. The statues in our cities were built by previous generations. They had a different perspective, a different understanding of good and evil. But these statues teach us our past with all its shortcomings. To destroy their means to lie about our history and to impoverish the education of future generations,” said Johnson.
About the mass protests, Johnson noticed that, although he shared the indignation of the people over the death of Floyd and the issue of racism, the current protests were “under control extremists prone to violence”. He urged the British not to participate in the protests.