Thousands of people protested on Tuesday for a statue of 19th century British imperialist Cecil Rhodes to be removed from an Oxford University college, as debate raged over the removal of other monuments attached to the nation’s colonial past.
Protesters chanted “Take it down” and “Decolonise”, and held placards urging “Rhodes Must Fall” and “Black Lives Matter” beneath the statue at Oriel College.
The “Rhodes Must Fall” movement, which began in South Africa, failed in a previous attempt to have the statue removed but has been revived by a wave of anti-racism protests.
Cecil Rhodes was one of the leading figures in British imperialism at the end of the 19th Century, pushing the empire to seize control over vast areas of southern Africa, first as a businessman and later as prime minister of Cape Colony in what is now South Africa.
Rhodes had two other colonies that were named after him – Northern and Southern Rhodesia. They’re now the countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia.