June 7th 2020. Sparked by the tragic death of George Floyd in Minnesota, 10,000 people took to the streets of Bristol to make a stand against police brutality, discrimination and systemic racism.
The statue of Edward Colston was tied, pulled from its pedestal, rolled to the harbour, and poetically dumped into the very port used to transport millions of slaves in the 1700s. The Independent deemed it “the cultural event of the year”.
Out of a crowd of ten thousand, four people were singled out and put on trial for the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter march. They came to be known as The Colston Four.
Widely praised and lauded by the many citizens of Bristol who had campaigned for the statue’s removal for decades, and condemned by government officials, the actions of The Colston Four sparked a polarising debate around race, equality and the celebration of problematic historical figures.
January 5th 2022 and the four defendants, Rhian Graham, Milo Ponsford, Jake Skuse and Sage Willoughby, were acquitted of the charge of criminal damage by a jury at Bristol Crown Court.
Arthur Cauty‘s follow up short to The Felling of Colston, features exclusive interviews with the defendants and legal team, offering a glimpse at the people behind the headlines, as a 19 month long trial draws to a close.