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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Letters: Colonialists must fall

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Dear editor,

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Colonialism Reparation welcomes the fall of colonial symbols in many cities around the world and invites all the other cities where unfortunately colonial symbols are still present to follow their example.

There had already been precedents in previous years, from the Rhodes Must Fall movement in 2015 to the removal of the monument to Antonio López y López in Barcelona and the decolonisation of some streets in Berlin in 2018, from the toppling of the monuments to Pedro de Valdivia in Temuco, to Pedro de Valdivia and García Hurtado de Mendoza in Cañete and to Cristoforo Colombo and Francisco de Aguirre in Arica in 2019 to the toppling of the monuments to Victor Schoelcher in Schoelcher and Fort-de-France on 22 May 2020. But it is only with the explosion of anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd that the fall of colonial symbols becomes viral.

In the United Kingdom it begins on June 7, 2020 with the toppling of the monument to Edward Colston in Bristol and continues with the change of name to Colston Hall in Bristol, with the removal of the monument to Robert Milligan in London, with the change of name to Gladstone Hall in Liverpool, with the removal of the monument to Edward Codrington in Brighton and with the change of name to the John Cass School in London.
In Belgium it begins on June 9, 2020 with the removal of the monument to Leopold II in Antwerp and continues with the toppling of the monument to Leopold II in Auderghem and with the removal of the monument to Leopold II in Ghent.

In the United States it begins on June 10, 2020 with the toppling of the monument to Christopher Columbus in Richmond and continues with the removal of the monuments to Caesar Rodney and Christopher Columbus in Wilmington, with the toppling of the monument to John McDonogh in New Orleans, with the removal of the monument to Christopher Columbus in Detroit, with the toppling of the monument to Thomas Jefferson in Portland, with the removal of the monument to Juan de Oñate in Rio Arriba County, with the removal of the monument to Christopher Columbus in San Francisco, with the toppling of the monument to George Washington in Portland, with the toppling of the monuments to Junipero Serra, Francis Scott Key and Ulysses S. Grant in San Francisco, with the removal of the monument to Theodore Roosevelt in New York, with the removal of the monument to Christopher Columbus in New Haven and with the removal of the monument to Abraham Lincoln in Boston.

In New Zealand it begins on June 12, 2020 with the removal of the monument to John Hamilton in Hamilton.
In the United Nations it begins on June 17, 2020 with the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet who, during the “Urgent Debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality against people of African descent and violence against peaceful protests” at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council, states that we also need to make amends for centuries of violence and discrimination, including through formal apologies, truth-telling processes, and reparations in various forms.

In the European Union it begins on June 19, 2020 with the European Parliament adopting by 493 votes to 104 with 67 abstentions resolution P9_TA(2020)0173 on “The Anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd” which at point 14 calls for the EU institutions and the Member States to officially acknowledge past injustices and crimes against humanity committed against black people, people of colour and Roma; declares slavery a crime against humanity and calls for 2 December to be designated the European Day commemorating the Abolition of the Slave Trade; encourages the Member States to make the history of black people, people of colour and Roma part of their school curricula.

In Jamaica it begins on June 26, 2020 with the suspension of the use of the insignia of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George by the Governor general.
In Senegal it begins on June 27, 2020 with the change of name to Europe Square in Gorée.
In Nigeria it begins on June 30, 2020 with the change of name to all the colonial sites and monuments in Lagos.

Colonialism Reparation

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