Right wingers are furious that this Churchill statue has been boarded up, but it’s not the first time

Evie Breese@Evie_Breese
Friday 12 June 2020 11:30
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(PA/ Twitter @piersmorgan)

In preparation for anti-racist protests that may or may not go ahead this coming weekend, memorials in Central London have been boarded, and some people are utterly outraged.

In a series of tweets, Boris Johnson claimed that it is "absurd and shameful" that a statue of Winston Churchill has had to be boarded up because of fears it could be vandalised.

Johnson said the former war-time prime minister had expressed opinions which were "unacceptable to us today" but remained a hero for saving the country from "fascist and racist tyranny".

Last weekend, the monument to the former leader was painted with “was a racist” during anti-racist protests. Here’s a quick reminder of some of the reasons why:

In response to the mortal threat posed to the statues by anti-racist demonstrators, The Democratic Football Lads alliance and other far-right groups have called on their supporters to travel to London to "defend" those statues from protesters.

This has prompted Black Lives Matter to cancel its Saturday protest at Hyde Park over fears it could lead to clashes.

Rather than risk potentially violent incidents in the name of a statue, Westminster Council has constructed a protective box around it.

Some people were absolutely outraged that it had come to this.

(And by "this" we mean the boxing up of the statues, not the cancellation of the march for racial equality due to fears of violence.)

Others however, accused Johnson of trying to deflect public attention on to the statue debate, and away from government failings in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

But here’s the real kicker.

Statues – including that same one of Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph – have been boarded up before.

A similar protective box was constructed around the statue of Churchill for the Million Mask March in November 2016.

This is often done by council workers to protect memorials or statues for their own protection during large protests.

So why should the Black Lives Matter protests be any different?

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