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From Gandhi to Churchill: Why Black Lives Matter activists are furious with statues

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The Black Lives Matter movement has widened its reach quite significantly. The stir in the United States over killing of an African-American citizen George Floyd on May 25 has expanded its outreach and manifested into an anti-racism protest movement that’s invited attention from across the globe.

At several locations, the movement has been led on by vandalism. In addition, the protestors have now began targeting statues of historical figures.

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Defacing of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue

It all started in Washington, DC on the night of June 2 when a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was defaced across the road from the Indian embassy.

A police complaint was lodged by the Indian embassy against the unidentified persons. Donald Trump, the US President, called this incident a “disgrace”. The status of Mahatma was vandalized with spray painting and graffiti.

The protests have now assumed global significance. A campaign for the removal of Mahatma Gandhi statue in Leicester, England is gaining momentum.

The online petition was signed by thousand. However, veteran British Indian parliamentarian Keith Vaz opposed the campaign. The petition charged Mahatma Gandhi to be a “fascist, racist and sexual predator”.

This is the first of its kind campaign in the UK, or elsewhere, against a Mahatma Gandhi statue. Neither is Mahatman Gandhi the only figure being targeted by the protestors who have taken to the streets against killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Other figures also face the heat

The Sun reports that Black Lives Matter protestors have a list of 78 historical figures in the UK alone whom they have charged as racist and want removed.

The statues include the likes of Christopher Columbus, Captain Cook, and King James II.

A statue of Winston Churchill was targeted in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic. The statue was defaced with words “Byl rasista,” which means “He was a racist.”

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