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Cecil Rhodes statue removed after protests in Capetown, backlash ensued

10.04.2015  |  11:04
Cecil Rhodes statue removed after protests in Capetown, backlash ensued

Protesters cheered the public removal of the statue, which is being relocated into storage for "safe keeping."

Protesters cheered the public removal of the statue, which is being relocated into storage for "safe keeping."

Activist Chumani Maxwele began the protest back in March as the "Rhodes Must Fall" campaign. The activist began the protest by smearing excrement on the monument. According to supporters of the campaign, the Cecil Rhodes statue stands as a powerful symbol for racism, saying it glorifies someone "who exploited black [labor] and stole land from indigenous people."

White South Africans have expressed their own issues with the removal of the statue and defacement of others. While the people immortalized with the monuments may have supported the oppression of the black community, others feel the need to defend their heritage.

On Wednesday, those who defend the statues gathered around those of 19th Century president Paul Kruger and 17th Century colonialist Jan van Riebeeck. Their stance is that they feel their heritage is being targeted after the defacement of the statues. Results of the campaign had led to green paint being thrown at the statue of Kruger, reflecting the beginning of the protest against the Cecil Rhodes statue.

Paul Kruger was noted for his status as a leader who opposed the British in South Africa. In this way, he may have been against black oppression as much as Abraham Lincoln was in the United States.

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