A banner stating ‘Rhodes, You’re Next’ has been put up on University Church, opposite the statue of Cecil Rhodes, following the pulling down of a statue of Edward Colston in Bristol on Sunday.
The statue of Rhodes, an imperialist in the 19th century who annexed much of southern Africa and restricted the rights of black Africans, has been the subject of much controversy.
In 2016, Oriel College stated it would not take down the statue, citing “widespread support” for the statue, despite the #RhodesMustFall campaign by students. The decision was made after threats from alumnae to withdraw about £100m in gifts if the statue were taken down.
Edward Colston was a slave trader in the 17th and 18th century, who is believed to have transported over 80 000 people from West Africa. Demonstrators at the Black Lives Matter protest today pulled the statue down and threw it into Bristol Harbour.
The Oxford #RhodesMustFall campaign has recently been restarted, with a new video published on the Facebook by students and alumni against anti-Blackness. 600 people have signed a Rhodes Must Fall Oxford petition over the course of Sunday night, which has since been closed. A new petition was set up on Monday morning.
Image credit to Dr. Jack Doyle