Bristol Black Lives Matter riots were 'peaceful and sombre', says protestor three years on

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Three years after the Black Lives Matter protests came to Bristol, we have spoken to one of the activists involved.

On 7 June 2020, Bristol made headlines around the world, when the 125-year-old statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown in the harbour.

The plinth remains empty three years on. 

Protesters threw a statue of Edward Colston into Bristol harbour

Thousands of people joined the protests after the death of George Floyd. Since then, more references to the slave trader have been removed from the city. 

Following a high-profile court case, those charged with criminal damage were acquitted.

Activist Jen Reid then mounted the plinth and was photographed in Colston's place.

The image inspired a statue called ‘Surge of Power’ which temporarily occupied the plinth.

Casting her mind back three years, Ms Reid said: “It really brings back a lot of memories, and a lot of adrenaline.

“We do have to remember why people marched that day and I think it’s important people remember that. It was such a peaceful and sombre protest.”

The Surge of Power statue

She added that when Colston's statue fell, there was a “carnival-like atmosphere”. 

Looking back at the Surge of Power statue, Jen said: “I felt a surge of power when I was up there.

"It’s not about me, it’s what the statue represents - cleansing of Colston, that he is no more."

She said there had been changes, but that “far more changes [needed] to happen”. 

Jen Reid is writing a children’s book called "A Hero Like Me". She said it would talk about what happened, teaching children to “be bold and brave and stand up for what’s right”.