TWO Brighton memorials have been named in a list of targets by an anti-racist protest group.

The plaques are two of more than 75 sites named by Topple The Racists as the group aims to "take down statues and monuments in the UK that celebrate slavery and racism".

The movement comes after Black Lives Matter protesters toppled the statue of slave trader Edward Colston and tossed it into the River Avon in Bristol.

The Argus:

Yesterday, it was also announced a statue of Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell in Poole, Dorset, will be removed.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council said the statue would be taken down "to create time for all views to be aired, and to minimise the risk of any public disorder or antisocial behaviour that could arise were the statue to remain in situ".

Information about more than 75 statues and monuments has been listed by Topple The Racists, with a view to triggering discussions which will lead to the removal of these items.

The Argus:

A spokesman for the site said: "Statues are exercises of public adoration. And Edward Colston made his fortune in the slave trade. He was part of a system of mass murder, torture and human suffering.

“We must learn from, not venerate, this terrible chapter in British colonial history."

It said it wanted to "promote debate," adding that it is "important to shine a light on the continued adoration of colonial icons and symbols".

Biographies for those commemorated have been taken from data collected by the centre for the study of the legacies of British slave-ownership, a project established by University College London.

Two of the monuments listed are in Brighton.

The first is a blue plaque commemorating the life of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington in Western Road.

The centre states that he was a London merchant who "inherited the Folly estate on Antigua from his father in 1741".

The Argus:

It continues: "The estate is not mentioned in his own will but he left his unspecified plantations in Antigua and elsewhere in the West Indies equally among his five children."

The second plaque can be found on the side of The Royal Albion Hotel on Brighton seafront, and is a memorial to William Gladstone.

The centre for the study of the legacies of British slave-ownership stated: "One of the most important of 19 Century politicians.

"Although not a claimant, Gladstone was closely involved with the claims of his father, John Gladstone, one of the largest of owners of the enslaved in the Caribbean and a highly influential figure in the West India lobby.

"As a politician, William Gladstone supported compensation for slave-owners, the system of apprenticeship, and the defence of the West India interest over such matters as sugar duties."

The Argus:

The centre also directed readers to the historical journal Gladstone and Slavery by Dr Roland Quinault.

An abstract for the journal reads: "William Gladstone's views on slavery and the slave trade have received little attention from historians, although he spent much of his early years in parliament dealing with issues related to that subject.

"His stance on slavery echoed that of his father, who was one of the largest slave owners in the British West Indies, and on whom he was dependent for financial support.

"Gladstone opposed the slave trade but he wanted to improve the condition of the slaves before they were liberated.

"In 1833, he accepted emancipation because it was accompanied by a period of apprenticeship for the ex-slaves and by financial compensation for the planters.

The Argus:

"In the 1840s, his defence of the economic interests of the British planters was again evident in his opposition to the foreign slave trade and slave-grown sugar.

"By the 1850s, however, he believed that the best way to end the slave trade was by persuasion, rather than by force, and that conviction influenced his attitude to the American Civil War and to British colonial policy.

"As leader of the Liberal party, Gladstone, unlike many of his supporters, showed no enthusiasm for an anti-slavery crusade in Africa.

"His passionate commitment to liberty for oppressed peoples was seldom evident in his attitude to slavery."

The Edward Colston statue was removed in Bristol amid Black Lives Matter protests in the city.

There have been demonstrations across the world, including marches and silent protests in Sussex, following the death of George Floyd.

Read more about protests across Brighton and Sussex here>>>

The Argus:

He was an unarmed black man who died last month while being restrained by a Minneapolis police officer in the US.

He told the officer "I can't breathe" as he knelt on Mr Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes.

Brighton and Hove City Council has now announced that all street names in the city will be reviewed in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Read more about the council announcement here>>>

Council leader Nancy Platts said: "The Black Lives Matter movement has rightly shone a spotlight on colonial statues and street names in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

The Argus:

"In Brighton and Hove we’re currently reviewing all plaques, monuments, statues and street names on public land to ensure that we’re celebrating legacies that reflect our city’s values.

"We will seek to remove any statues or monuments with clear associations with enslavement or plantations.

“We will talk with the council’s BME Workers Forum, our local BAME communities and historians to ensure we fully understand the history of our statues and street names and we’ll work collaboratively to commission new street art installations which celebrate the Black community.

“I would like people to contact me directly if they are aware of any statues, monuments, street or building names which cause them concern.

“We’re also aware of two plaques that have been identified on a website for removal.

“These are on private property.

“We’ll be contacting the owners to ask them to consider their appropriateness.”