by Nicole G Feb 22nd, 2017
A music venue in Bristol has been named after a slave trader for nearly 150 years. Edward Colston made millions from selling slaves – including children as young as six. So Katie, who lives in Bristol, has started a campaign to rename Colston Hall for its anniversary this year.
The campaign’s making headlines, bands are cancelling gigs at the hall and Bristol Cathedral are saying they might remove a window dedicated to Colston. The pressure is growing, and venue’s bosses say they’re having “discussions over a new name”. A big petition, right now, could force them to stop dragging their heels, and rename the hall as soon as possible.
If you believe we should celebrate people who have been forces for good – not slave traders – sign the petition below. It’ll only take a minute:
Here’s what people involved are saying:
“Colston transported around 100,000 enslaved Africans to plantations in the West Indies and America.
This included women and children as young as six – each enslaved person was branded with the company’s initials on their chest. More than 20,000 enslaved Africans were killed during the crossings. Their bodies were thrown overboard. Colston became a millionaire from this so-called ‘business’.”
As 38 Degrees members we stand for equality, people who hurt or attack others should not be celebrated. That’s why when Donald Trump attacked people based on their religion or gender during his presidential campaign, thousands of us successfully pushed for a Scottish university to strip him of an honorary degree. Together we said his words and actions should not be celebrated.
This campaign isn’t about erasing history – it’s about moving Bristol’s culture into the 21st Century. Katie has even suggest putting up a plaque near the entrance of the hall explaining who Edward Colston was – so the past can be remembered, without celebrating a slaver.