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04th Apr 2021

Police ridiculed for guarding Churchill statue at Kill the Bill protest

Simon Lloyd

Despite it being largely ignored by protesters, riot police formed a protective ring around the Churchill statue

Police officers have been mocked for standing guard around a statue of Winston Churchill during Kill the Bill protests in London.

Demonstrations against the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill were held in the capital on Saturday, with protesters gathering in Parliament Square – home to the statue of the former British prime minister.

As has been the case during earlier Kill the Bill protests in recent weeks, there were scuffles involving some protesters and the police, with a total of 26 arrests made.

With that in mind, many saw the decision to surround the statue with officers as a disproportionate move on a day when police resources would have likely been stretched…

The police’s decision to deploy so many officers to ‘defend’ the statue stems from last year, when it was vandalised during protests.

The words “is a racist” were written beneath Churchill’s name on the statue’s plinth during climate protests last September. Three months prior to that it was vandalised in a similar fashion during Black Lives Matter protests and was later boarded up to protect it.

Last summer saw protestors in Bristol pull down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston, later prompting government to call for the protection of statues.