2020-06-13 16:01:37 UTC
Statues of World War II leader Winston Churchill could become a dangerous
flashpoint in planned demonstrations, London officials said Saturday, warning
people to avoid the city center.
Some statues of the former Prime Minister were boarded up in preparation for the
protests, Reuters reported.
We have intelligence that extreme far right groups are coming to London
ostensibly, they say, to protect the statues, but we think the statues may be a
flashpoint for violence, Londons mayor Sadiq Khan told BBC Radio.
Last week, demonstrators in Parliament Square chanted Churchill was a racist
during a Black Lives Matter protest, according to The Independent.
Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us
today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial, British Prime
Minister Boris Johnson told Reuters.
The Churchill statue outside Parliament was defaced with graffiti last week
during otherwise mainly peaceful demonstrations over the death of George Floyd,
who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine
Khan also said people risk contracting the coronavirus by joining the expected
Johnson called the targeting of Churchill statues absurd and shameful and
Churchills granddaughter Emma Soames said she was saddened that he had become a
controversial figure after being a symbolism of heroism and unity for so long.