On Sunday 12th June, as part of the Antiuniversity educational festival, VFP coordinator Ben Griffin joined journalist Charlie Gilmour to give a free guided tour of the statues of central London for a group of 20-30 people.
The aim of the tour was to shed light on the war crimes committed by many of the historical figures who have been immortalised in stone. Together, the people honoured by statues on our route from the Strand to Parliament Square are responsible for the deaths of as many as 30 million people. Is it appropriate for them to remain standing? And what does it say about our society that most people think that it is?
Starting with Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris, the walk took in Kitchener’s concentration camps; Churchill’s ‘Bengali Holocaust’; the mass reprisal killings that followed India’s First War of Independence, and more besides. Ben brought the subject up to the present, explaining how the military mind-set can enable such atrocities, and how we can fight against militarism today to prevent them from happening again.
Due to the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, one or two areas of interest were closed to the public, so we will run this event again at some point in the future should there be any demand.