Anti-racism campaigners in the United Kingdom (UK) have demanded to remove statues of Mahatma Gandhi from two major locations in London and Leicester as Black Lives Matter movement spreads nationwide support for the dismantling of portraits and statues of historic figures who have expressed hatred and racism towards Black people.
Thousands of people are demanding the removal of controversial monuments and statues around the UK, which campaigners describe as “racist and unwelcoming.”
The campaign basically has brought focus on Gandhi who is viewed as a racist who publicly expressed racist views for Black people.
In the last week during large scale protests against racism in the UK, Black Lives Matter protesters vandalized Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament Square, London, daubing “racist” on the pedestal steps and throwing white paint on the statue.
Authorities fear that the Gandhi statue will come under sustained attack by protestors in coming days.
It was previously daubed to mock India by Sikh protestors during demonstrations held in the Square, but the Black Lives Matter movement has encouraged anti-Gandhi campaigners to start their campaign afresh.
The Sikh Federation UK commented on Twitter: Are statues of Mahatma Gandhi across the globe under threat during #BLM protests due to his well-documented anti-black racism views.
He referred to Africans as ‘savages’, ‘uncivilized’, ‘dirty’ & ‘like animals’. His comments are vile.
The Gandhi statue is one among 12 in the square of prominent British, Commonwealth and foreign political figures, such as Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela. Winston Churchill’s statue was also targeted, with the words sprayed on it: ‘was a racist’.
Since the tragic death of George Floyd in America, a number of petitions are circling online which have taken inspiration from an anti-racism demonstration in Bristol, which saw protesters topple the statue of slave trader Edward Colston before dragging and heaving the bronze monument into the harbour.
Petitions are calling on the British government authorities to remove controversial monuments in the UK.
Most of these petitions are demanding removals of English men who were involved in slave trade, anti-Black, racist or monuments depicting Black people in racist ways.