Bristol Greens are celebrating the announcement that the Colston Hall will undergo a name change alongside its refurbishment, having long campaigned for the prominent local venue to shed its association with Bristol slaver Edward Colston.
Cleo Lake, Councillor for Cotham and longstanding member of campaign group Countering Colston, said:
‘Today we turn a corner in Bristol and history is made. I wholeheartedly support Louise Mitchell CEO and the Bristol Music Trust in moving forward with their plans to develop the site into a world class music and education facility that can be enjoyed by all of our citizens.
‘It hasn’t just been months of campaigning which has included protests, petitions, meetings and questions to Cabinet who fund much of the hall, or the will of the CEO and the Board of Trustees, but rather it has been the continuation of decades of action by the many campaigners who have sought to decolonise the City and pay some respect to those whose lives were taken and exploited in the name of capitalism.
‘Those who were dehumanised and whose blood sweat and suffering built this City, the descendants of whom still experience amongst other set backs, racism and inherited trauma as a consequence of that disgusting trade. This is symbolic and is in line with what is happening internationally as different sections of society unite to challenge the colonial and neo colonial status quo.’
Molly Scott Cato, prospective Green candidate for the Bristol West constituency, added:
‘I am delighted that this decision has been taken and congratulate both the management of the Colston Hall and also Countering Colston and other campaigners who have kept the pressure up. This marks the beginning of a process of moving from celebration of city benefactors who made their money through the holocaust of slavery to an era of atonement and memorial. We should also recommit to ending the continuing disadvantage faced by the minority communities in our city.’