GB News host hits out at proposals to remove more statues
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The bronze bust of Sir Henry Morton Stanley – who is best known for the famous line: “Dr Livingstone, I presume?” – has been stood for a decade in his Welsh town of Denbigh. However, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, the statue could be torn down.
On Friday and Saturday, locals will take to vote on whether the statue dedicated to the journalist and politician should be removed.
Chairman of Denbigh town councillor Rhys Thomas said: “I need to keep neutral on all of this.
“I think it’s been active on Facebook, but there we are.
“It is something a few people are quite interested in on either side.”
Councillor Glen Swingler said: “I think the feeling in town is very mixed.
“I’ve noticed on social media over the last couple of days that those coming out against it, they’ve got a bit more vociferous.
“It’s not getting nasty. I wouldn’t like to guess which way any sort of vote would go, but then again, I don’t know how many people are actually going to go out and vote.”
He added: “I will vote, yes. I’ve got my own opinions, but I will vote as it is my right.”
This is not the first time there have been calls for the statue to be removed after the Bishop of St Asaph said the explorer had “little respect for the natives of Africa”.
The vote comes after a debate was sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement over the explorer’s links with European imperialism, exploitation and colonialism.
Sir Henry is a controversial figure due to his links to Belgian King Leopold II.
The monarch was accused of committing acts of appalling humanity against the population of the Congo Free State – now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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However, his supporters have said Sir Henry was not working for the Belgian despot when the atrocities took place.
Sir Henry has been accused by his contemporaries for his atrocities towards the African people.
Explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton once said that “Stanley shoots Africans as if they were monkeys”.
The vote will be taken by Denbigh Town Council on October 15 between 10am and 7pm and on October 16 between 10am and 1pm at the Town Hall.
It will be open to all Denbigh residents aged 16 and over.
In the UK, several statues and busts were removed or vandalised during last year’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the nation.
Protestors in Bristol pulled down the controversial statue of slave trader Edward Colston and threw it into the harbour.
Several monuments commemorating Captain James Cook were targeted with activists claiming the explorer “symbolises racial oppression and violence”.
The statue of slave trader Robert Milligan was also removed by authorities.
In wake of the protests last year, Sir Winston Churchill’s monument in Whitehall was vandalised before being encased in a protective box.
This week, the statue of Christopher Columbus in London was vandalised with red paint.
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