Campaigners protesting against the statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes say Oxford University has “failed to address its institutional racism” and they have demanded that the statue is removed immediately. This follows on from the mob who removed the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol who then proceeded to throw it in the harbour.
Protesters have organised a demonstration in front of the figure in the city’s high street as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Campaigners argue that Rhodes, a 19th Century businessman and politician in southern Africa, represents ‘white supremacy and is steeped in colonialism and racism.’
Oriel College decided not to remove the statue in High Street in 2016 and said the figure “was a reminder of the complexity of history and of the legacies of colonialism”.
In an open letter to the university’s vice-chancellor, campaigners have said that “none of the demands of the movement have been met…and concerns continue to be dismissed by senior members of the university” four years since the previous protests.
“Many colleges and university institutions who have benefited from slavery and imperialism have made no attempts at reparation.”
Femi Nylander, Rhodes Must Fall campaigner, criticised promises made to black students by the university saying: “around the curriculum, access and representation have never materialised”.
The letter to vice-chancellor Professor Louise Richardson outlines five steps campaigners “hope the university will agree to, in order to make upholding anti-racist values a reality”.
A scholarship programme in his name has been awarded to more than 8,000 overseas students.
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