Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in Oxford to call for its statue of Cecil Rhodes to be pulled down chanting #RhodesMustFall.
Cecil john Rhodes was a British businessman, statesman, imperialist, mining magnate, and politician in southern Africa who served as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896. An ardent believer in British imperialism, Rhodes and his British South Africa Company founded the southern African territory of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and Zambia)
Rhodes Must Fall (#RhodesMustFall) was a protest movement that began on 9 March 2015, originally directed against a statue at the University of Cape Town (UCT) that commemorates Cecil Rhodes.
An online petition with more than 100,000 signatures urged Oriel College at the University of Oxford to remove the statue, arguing that Rhodes represented colonialism and racism.
Oxford council leader Susan Brown today said that the statue should be removed and placed in a museum, adding that she is sympathetic towards the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ campaign.
The protest came after a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Bristol on Sunday, during which a statue of Edward Colston was toppled and dumped in the nearby harbour.
Here is how the evening unfolded:
Rhodes Must Fall protest comes to an end
The protest ends with the crowd, which gradually thins, putting their fists in the air and chanting ‘no justice, no peace’, which is followed by a round of applause.
Many people leave signs including ‘the UK is not innocent’ on the ground or in front of the windows of the College building, as the Rhodes Must Fall demonstration – which has been entirely peaceful – comes to a close.
Cecil John Rhodes was buried in the Matopo Hills, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Rhodes visited England in 1901. He was already ill on his return to Cape Town in the early months of 1902 and died soon afterwards at his seaside cottage in Muizenberg, Cape Town.