Students of the Universities of Sussex and Brighton are being called upon to sign a letter to Brighton & Hove City Council, demanding the removal of two plaques to slave beneficiaries in the city.
Those behind the letter have said: “We stand in solidarity with protestors in Bristol, who bravely removed the statue of slave trader Edward Colston.
“This inspired us to look deeper into our own city’s history, and we believe there are two plaques in Brighton that should be removed immediately.”
The plaques in question commemorate two figures involved in slavery, in a way that is thought to be incompatible with the council’s claims of supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and of being ‘anti-imperialist’.
Since the letter was released for signatures on June 10, Councillor Nancy Platts has said:
“The Black Lives Matter movement has rightly shone a spotlight on colonial statues and street names in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
“In Brighton & Hove we’re currently reviewing all plaques, monuments, statues and street names on public land to ensure that we’re celebrating legacies that reflect our city’s values. We will seek to remove any statues or monuments with clear associations with enslavement or plantations.
“We will talk with the council’s BME Workers Forum, our local BAME communities and historians to ensure we fully understand the history of our statues and street names and we’ll work collaboratively to commission new street art installations which celebrate the Black community.
“I would like people to contact me directly if they are aware of any statues, monuments, street or building names which cause them concern.
“We’re also aware of two plaques that have been identified on a website for removal. These are on private property. We’ll be contacting the owners to ask them to consider their appropriateness.”
For more details and to sign the letter follow:
Photo credits: Martin Tod