By Helene Fung
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that a wave of anti-racism protests across Britain had been “hijacked by extremists”, and it is “absurd and shameful” that statue of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has to beboarded up ahead of expected weekend protests in London due to vandalism risk.
A number of statues, monuments, streets and building names commemorating a number of colonial historical figures have become vandalism targets for anti-racism protesters in the past week. Examples include Liverpool’s Penny Lane and a statue of Edward Colston in Bristol – allegedly glorifying slave traders.
Winston Churchill’s statue was graffitied “was a racist” last weekend by protesters; many blaming his policy for causing deaths of millions of people during famine in the Indian state of Benegal back in 1943.
Mr Johnson has written a biography of Mr Churchill, and spoke in Churchill’s defence that “he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial”.
Mr Johnson however acknowledged the anger of black and minority ethnic communities, and said there had been “huge” strides in tackling discrimination in Britain.