The statue of Sir Winson Churchill has been imprisoned within a grey box to stop Black Lives Matter supporters from repeatedly vandalising it — an alternative to using active policing to deter them which some have claimed as an admission of defeat.
The monument to Britain’s wartime leader, which stands opposite the Palace of Westminster in Parliament Square, has previously been defaced with graffiti branding him “racist” and denouncing all police as “bastards” at several of the illegal mass protests which have taken place in Britain in recent weeks. With more protests liable to come, the memorial — and several others in central London — has now been boarded over.
Originally in aid of George Floyd, a black man who died while being detained by a white police officer — now facing serious charges, along with a multi-ethnic group of officers who were also present at the incident — the protests have now changed beyond all recognition, with one of their principal aims now being to destroy historic monuments and memorials to individuals whose views and activities put them beyond the pale of political correctness in 2020.
The destruction of a statue of Edward Colston, a merchant and philanthropist born in the 1600s now predominantly known for his links to the slave trade, began the trend, with the Stop Trump Coalition drawing up a national hit-list of supposedly offensive monuments — and the authorities are already moving swiftly to remove some voluntarily, and establishing diversity commissions to erase more.
People today have the luxury of living in an enlightened society so they criticize guys like Christopher Columbus as if they'd actually be a better person if they existed in the 1400's.
They would frequent the bars and brothels while other men make history.
— Alana Mastrangelo (@ARmastrangelo) June 10, 2020
Sections of the public have lost patience with scenes of violent protesters defacing statues amid an attitude of general appeasement, however. Members of the public including scouting leaders turned out to defend a statue of the founder of the global scouting movement, Robert Baden-Powell on Thursday.
There are strong indications that veterans, football fans, and others — denounced as “far-right thugs” by the mainstream media — intend to show up in the capital to defend them at the weekend.
This development has forced the state to somewhat change its tactics — not by guaranteeing that statues and memorials will be guarded by police officers or other public officials, but by erasing them from public view, fully or partially, by encasing them.
— Richard Tice (@TiceRichard) June 12, 2020
The image greeted with the most shock is the one of Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square, which has been entirely imprisoned within a featureless grey box.
“This is wrong, wrong, wrong,” commented Richard Tice, the chairman of the Brexit Party, in a video message recorded outside the late prime minister’s coffin-like new accommodation.
“The greatest Briton, Winston Churchill, has gone. He has disappeared, he has been hidden, because the woke warriors seem now to be winning over the United Kingdom. I say to the Prime Minister, I say to the Mayor of London, this hoarding has to go; Winston Churchill must reappear here in Parliament Square, the mother of democracy, immediately,” he demanded.
Mr Tice was echoing the thoughts of many observers who believe there is no practical difference between hiding Churchill’s statue in a box and carting it off to storage, despite Boris Johnson, who has been largely silent through the ongoing disorder, claiming that it is “a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country” in a social media thread — which nevertheless conceded that Churchill “sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today”.
Hoarding has also been erected around statues of U.S. founding father George Washington and former monarch James II, among others, as well as the base of the Cenotaph war memorial, where wreaths are placed to honour the fallen, and which was the subject of an attempted arson last week.