Tag Archives: Dr Madge Dresser

PLAQUE ATTACKED

PLAQUE ATTACKED

Efforts to add a so-called ‘corrective plaque’ to Edward Colston’s statue on the Centre have descended into farce thanks to INTERFERENCE from our local bat shit crazy rich mans’ club, the SOCIETY OF MERCHANT VENTURERS, desperate to defend the reputation of their slave trading hero.

The idea behind a corrective plaque was to stop the constant – and often entertaining – VANDALISM of the statue by members of the public. Over the years we’ve woken up to find the statue yarn bombed, with its face painted white, with graffiti scrawled across it and with various corrective plaques superglued to it, usually LISTING COLSTON CAREER HIGHLIGHTS the current plaque misses out.

To address this, last year, the council hired historian Dr Madge Dresser to work with young people to produce a second plaque for the statue. Plenty of ideas came back highlighting Colston’s role in the SLAVE TRADE as well as aspects of his political, religious, charitable and business life that are OVERLOOKED on the existing plaque from the Victorian era.

Dr Dresser delivered her ideas to Peter “Arse” Insole, an architectural officer at the council and then the trouble started. The Venturers immediately employed AMATEUR HISTORIAN Francis Greenacre to LOBBY Insole on their behalf and an unknown number of private meetings between Insole and Greenacre with neither notes nor minutes retained have taken place.

Now, we’re reliably informed, the following information will definitely not appear on any new plaque: any reference to Colston being a TORY; any mention of the SOCIETY OF MERCHANT VENTURERS; the number of children TRANSPORTED by Colston’s ships; the number of children who DIED on Colston’s ships; any mention of Colston’s religious and political BIGOTRY; any mention of Colston’s involvement in the SPANISH SLAVE TRADE and any mention of his INSIDER TRADING in South Seas Company.

Never mind, we’ll all just have to go back to vandalising the Venturer’s reactionary monstrosity instead.

DEMAND EQUALITY! COLSTON STATUE MUST NOW BE REMOVED

Not offensive, not censored:

Edward Colston: right wing mass murderer

Offensive, censored:

Walter Ayles: left wing pacifist


Call Mark Parsons at Bristol Waste on 07584581243 or email Mark.Parsons@Bristolwastecompany.co.uk and demand that Colston’s statue is removed. We want equality!

CENSORED! JOURNEY TO JUSTICE

News release: for immediate release

Popular exhibition that got praise from the mayor is censored by waste company

It has been brought to our attention that Bristol Waste Company has removed a
board from the exhibition in the Bearpit which was jointly organised by the Bearpit
Improvement Group in conjunction with the national charity Journey to Justice which
also hosted a major series of arts and history events in Bristol this October.

We understand that Bristol City Council ordered the board to be removed following a
complaint by Councillor Mark Weston (Henbury and Brentry), the leader of the
Conservative group on Bristol City Council.

We request the immediate reinstatement of the board and an apology from those
responsible for its summary removal.

We also request further information about the process that led BCC to order the
board to be removed without consultation with the Bearpit Improvement Group or Dr
Madge Dresser of UWE and the University of Bristol who jointly curated the
exhibition with the Group’s organisers.

The board in question is a piece of art celebrating the role of Walter Ayles in fighting
for social justice and in particular his role as a leading campaigner against the First
World War. Ayles was a Bristol councillor before the First World War and was sent to
prison for his opposition to it. Soon after his release he was elected MP for Bristol
North.

The information for the board was researched by Journey to Justice trustee and
Bristol Coordinator Madge Dresser (a Senior Research Fellow at UWE and Honorary
Professor of History at the University of Bristol) and by Colin Thomas author
of Slaughter No Remedy: The Life and Times of Walter Ayles, Bristol Conscientious
Objector. The board was created by artist Bo Lanyon who worked with the Creative
Youth Network to inspire their boards in the Bearpit.

For your information, Journey to Justice is a group of educators, youth, community,
human rights and faith organisations, artists, film makers, lawyers, musicians,
historians, curators and trade unionists. It aims to inspire and inform social
engagement through history and the arts. Its patrons include Dr Paul Stephenson,
one of the leaders of the Bristol Bus Boycott, who this week received a Daily Mirror
Pride of Britain Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in fighting racism and
intolerance.

This exhibition sought to celebrate some of the untold stories of Bristol’s past social
campaigners and should be seen as stimulating debate and interest in Bristol’s
distinctive history. Ayles has also been written about by other Bristol-linked
academics including Professor Emerita June Hannam of UWE and is featured in the
authoritative Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

The removal of the board is a clear act of censorship by Bristol City Council that has
no place in an open and democratic society. It is ironic that it was taken down during
the same week that George Orwell’s statue was unveiled at the BBC in London with
the motto: “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they
do not want to hear.”