Petition launched to remove all statues of Leopold II in Brussels
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    Petition launched to remove all statues of Leopold II in Brussels

    Credit: EmDee (CC BY-SA 3.0)

    On Monday, an online petition was launched to remove all the statues of former Belgian King Leopold II in the City of Brussels

    As anti-racism protests and demonstrations in honour of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer put his knee on his neck for minutes in the United States last week, are taking place worldwide, a petition to the City of Brussels has been launched in Belgium to remove all statues of Leopold II.

    Under his colonial regime, millions of Congolese people died. Lack of reliable sources have made it difficult to form an accurate estimation, but modern estimates range from 1 million to 15 million. In recent years, a consensus of around 10 million deaths has been reached among historians.

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    “Despite all this, Leopold II is commemorated throughout Belgium through statues, ceremonies in his honour, street names, and so on. We do not want to erase the past, but we do want to erase any homage to this man,” the initiators of the petition added.

    The petition is set to end on 30 June 2020, which is the 60th anniversary of the Independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo from Belgium’s colonial rule.

    Earlier this week, another petition had been launched to keep the words “Please, I can’t breathe” that were written on a train from the Belgian company SNCB, in honour of George Floyd.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times