The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square was vandalised by rioters involved in the Black Lives Matter protests on the weekend.
London has been rocked by recent riots and protests, sparked off by a killing of a black man thousands of miles away. The Black Lives Matter protestors have turned their ire to targeting national monuments, such as the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square or the Cenotaph war memorial.
A number of counter-protestors surrounded the statue to prevent it being vandalised. However, police then removed the statue defenders – not long afterwards, it was defaced.
Police remove those guarding Churchill's statue. It was then defacedpic.twitter.com/4JZ0nVsYJJ
— Old Holborn ✘ (@Holbornlolz) June 7, 2020
Churchill’s name was subsequently crossed out, and “was a racist” was written underneath. Cardboard signs saying “Black Lives Matter” were affixed to the statue. While police let this happen, they proceeded to chase after a man who removed some of the signs.
Man removes some of the defacement from Churchill’s statue; UK police are after him like a shot. pic.twitter.com/FKLv9MqZrQ
— Keith Miller Mort (@KeithMillerMor1) June 8, 2020
After the crowd had dispersed, a number of people in the community came together to clean up the grafitti on the Churchill statue. Jake Painter, a Masters student, was one of those who helped clean up the damage.
He told National File that he, himself of mixed decent, a man from Yorkshire of British Indian descent, a white American, and others of many nationalities and backgrounds, worked from around 10 to 11 in the evening removing the grafitti. They were berated by, mostly white, antifa members, who mocked them, told them Churchill was racist, and said they’d just damage the statue tomorrow.
“I, same as everyone else, was in near universal outrage at what happened to George Floyd,” Painter told National File. “However, much of this has gone beyond him or the cause against racial injustice. It has become a personal crusade by those who want to defile and destroy anything to do with our history, culture and anything that symbolizes a juxtaposition to their own ideology/worldview.”
National File reported that earlier in the week, a group of young men and women decided to silently clean graffiti from the Cenotaph, the War Memorial dedicated to the British and Commonwealth dead. They were also attacked by white antifa protestors for their efforts to protect the memorial.