Statue of slave trader Edward Colston pulled down as thousands attend Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol

A statue of slave trader Edward Colston has been pulled down during the Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol.

The statue was then rolled through the city centre before being thrown into Bristol harbour.

It's estimated that 10,000 people came together to protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

It follows the death of black American George Floyd while in police custody.

Events have been staged across the globe including many places in the West Country.

Avon and Somerset Police says it will carry out an investigation "to identify the small group of people involved in pulling down the statue."

On Thursday (4 June), hundreds marched through the city to College Green where they lay on the ground with their hands behind their backs to symbolise the death of George Floyd.

On Thursday (4 June), hundreds lay on the ground with their hands behind their backs to symbolise the death of unarmed George Floyd.

Organisers of the protest said they listened to concerns that the march risked spreading coronavirus, and changed plans to confine it to the city centre.

Yvonne Maina, who has helped organise Bristol's BLM protest, said:

We want it to be peaceful, we really feel like we can push our voices while still being peaceful as well.

Yvonne Maina

Some have condemned the protests, claiming it is exacerbating the spread of Covid-19.

People have been encouraged to stay home, and 'Take The Knee' to show solidarity with Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd died in police custody.

Read more:

Protesters standing in solidarity with others whilst self-isolating

What social distancing advice was given?

Bristol City Council say it recognised "that people will be planning to attend this event on Sunday and, in making up their own minds, would urge them to consider [the following]:"

  • Wear PPE

  • Leave an area if you cannot socially distance

  • Be aware of no toilet facilities

  • Please take all litter home with you

Protesters have set up stations along the route where they have been handing out free PPE to those taking part in the march.

Protesters set up stations along the route where they have been handing out free PPE to those taking part in the march.

Full statement from Avon and Somerset Police:

The Black Lives Matter demonstration in Bristol today was attended by an estimated 10,000 people.

Avon and Somerset Police