Stop Political Vandalism – Sign this Petition

Mob rule and political vandalism has won the day in an extraordinary court judgement as Black Lives Matter vandals and thugs are given a not guilty verdict.

Four political hooligans now known as the ‘Colston Four’ were acquitted of criminal damage after tearing down a statue of Edward Colston and rolling it to the harbour, where it was dropped into the water in Bristol on June 7th 2020.

The moment the Edward Colston statue was rolled into the water at Bristol harbour

This appears to be more of a political judgement on Colston rather than the criminal damage that was committed by four thugs who admitted to political violence in court.

Undoubtably a miscarriage of justice has taken place in this instance. Video and photographic evidence clearly proves criminal acts and damage were undeniably committed.

Philanthropist Colston was a key figure in the slave trade but also supported schools, houses for the poor and hospitals. He used a lot of his wealth to build schools and almshouses in his home city of Bristol. He also gave money to several churches and the cathedral.

Rhian Graham, 30, Milo Ponsford, 26, and Sage Willoughby, 22, were caught on CCTV looping ropes around the monument before they helped to pull it from its plinth. Jake Skuse did not take part in the toppling of the statue but was charged with criminal damage after helping to roll it to Bristol’s harbour.

Political hooligans known as the ‘Colston Four’

An 11-day trial at Bristol Crown Court heard the mob caused more than £6,000 of damage to the statue, harbour railings and the pavement. 

During the trial the activists did not deny their actions but argued that they were justified because the statue was so offensive.

Mr Ponsford told jurors: ‘I thought that a statue that celebrates a figure such as Colston was disgraceful and offensive to the people of Bristol.’ 

Miss Graham added that she acted out of ‘allyship and solidarity’ with people of colour.

Liam Walker QC, representing Mr Willoughby, said: “Each of these defendants were on the right side of history and, I submit, they were also on the right side of the law.”

“Colston’s deeds may be historical but…the continued veneration of him in a vibrant multicultural city was an act of abuse.”

But the prosecution insisted that the fact Colston, who died in 1721, was a slave trader was ‘wholly irrelevant’. 

William Hughes QC, for the Crown, said the case was about the ‘rule of law’ and the ‘cold hard facts’.

Judge Peter Blair QC told jurors to disregard political rhetoric, and to try the case purely on the evidence in front of them.

After being cleared, the Colston Four stood outside court alongside protesters carrying banners boasting ‘We toppled Colston’.

Three wore T-shirts designed by Bristol street artist Banksy featuring a stencil of the toppled statue’s plinth. 

Sage Willoughby took the knee as he left the court

This outrageous not guilty verdict undermines the rule of law, which underpins our democracy. If this verdict goes unchallenged and the vandals go unpunished, we are in turn accepting vandalism and criminal damage are acceptable forms of political protest.

Then we will be on a slippery slope to becoming a third world banana republic where mob rule is the norm.

It gives the green light to political vandalism and must be opposed by all law abiding British people. After all, criminal damage is criminal damage regardless of who is represented by a statue. 

After refusing to comment specifically on the Colston court case, Buffoon Boris Johnson likened tearing down statues to a person attempting to “edit their Wikipedia entry”. This shows how out of touch and disconnected from reality the Prime Minister is!

Reports from the court including what Judge Peter Blair QC told jurors, have suggested there may have been undue pressure put on the jury. Accordingly, we believe an investigation must be held by the Attorney General with possible grounds for a retrial.

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