BLM Protester Pleads Guilty to Trying to Burn Cenotaph Flag

Astrophel Sang
Metropolitan Police Service

Astrophel Sang has been convicted in relation to an attempt to burn the flag of the Cenotaph, Britain’s war memorial, during a Black Lives Matter protest in London in June.

On Wednesday, Sang pleaded guilty to the attempted arson of the British flag on the Cenotaph, and will be sentenced at a date to be determined at Southwark Crown Court.

On June 7th, the BLM arsonist was filmed holding a lighter to the flag adorning the war memorial, which was erected in honour of the soldiers that lost their lives in the First World War and now commemorates all the fallen in Britain and her former Empire.

Following the incident, Sang told police, according to The Sun: “I didn’t rip it. I tried to set fire to it.”

Sang’s girlfriend also reportedly claimed that the BLM protester was unaware that the monument was the Cenotaph. The lawyer representing Sang said that the convicted arsonist “wants to apologise”.

On the same day as the attempted arson of the war memorial, Black Lives Matter protesters defaced the statue honouring British war-time leader Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square. The day prior — which coincided with the anniversary of the D-Day landings — BLM graffiti was scrawled on the Cenotaph.

In contrast to the nearly four months that it took to convict Sang, a pro-statue counter-protester was arrested, charged, convicted, and imprisoned within days of urinating beside a memorial to deceased Police Constable Keith Palmer, seemingly unwittingly.

During nationwide unrest following the death of George Floyd in America, radical Black Lives Matter activists have launched a campaign of vandalism targeting monuments honouring British historical icons.

On the same day as the attempted arson at the Cenotaph, the supposedly peaceful protest movement ripped down the statue of Sir Edward Colston in Bristol, before dragging it through the streets and throwing it into the harbour.

Also in June, leftists at BLM protests vandalised the statue honouring the American president Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated for his efforts to free America’s slaves, as well as a statue honouring the 19th-century British monarch Queen Victoria in Leeds.

Amidst the furore, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the creation of a ‘Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm‘ to audit statues and monuments in the British capital for removal.

Shortly thereafter, the left-wing Labour Party he represents followed suit at scale, announcing that it would be reviewing all statues within all 130 local councils under their control.

In October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government pushed back against the iconoclastic movement, empowering Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick with the authority to veto the removal of any monument. 

The chairman of Policy Exchange’s History Matters Project, former equality tsar Trevor Phillips, said at the time: “In recent months, Policy Exchange has documented more than 100 cases where aspects of our shared past – from statues to street names and what is taught in schools and universities – are being erased, without genuine debate and with very little consultation with the public who pay the bills.”

“We should recognise changes in public sentiment, but our response in a democracy must not be driven just by those who shout loudest. It is very welcome news that ministers will be able to ensure that if change takes place it will be by public consent rather than by extremist coercion,” he added.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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