During the George Floyd protests in Bristol on June 7th, a statue of Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown into the city harbour by demonstrators. According to the BBC:
Earlier in the day, in Bristol, protesters used ropes to pull down the bronze statue of Edward Colston, a prominent 17th Century slave trader, who has been a source of controversy in the city for many years.
Colston was a member of the Royal African Company, which transported about 80,000 men, women and children from Africa to the Americas.
On his death in 1721, he bequeathed his wealth to charities and his legacy can still be seen on Bristol's streets, memorials and buildings.
After the statue was toppled, a protester was pictured with his knee on the figure's neck - reminiscent of the video showing George Floyd, the black man who died while being restrained by a Minnesota police officer.
The statue was later dragged through the streets of Bristol and thrown into the harbour. The empty plinth was used as a makeshift stage for protesters.
The Prime Minister's spokesman later said:
The PM's view is that in this country, where there is strong opinion, there is a democratic process which should be followed.
People can campaign for the removal of a statue but what happened yesterday was a criminal act and when the criminal law is broken that is unacceptable and the police will want to hold to account those responsible.
The PM absolutely understands the strength of feeling, but in this country we settle our differences democratically and if people wanted the removal of the statue there are democratic routes which can be followed.
Looking into it, it seems that there was a movement to take action regarding the statue through local government, but I'm unclear what form this took - this opinion piece seems to suggests that Bristol city council has been locked in discussion about the plaque accompanying the statue since 2018:
Now, I have plenty of sympathy for those pointing out that it’s not as easy as it sounds to achieve your aims through institutional means; that the council have failed so far to remove the statue despite repeated, passionately expressed demands, and that they have been debating the exact wording of a new plaque clarifying Colston’s slave-trading past since 2018.
This piece suggests that the council agreed to rename the statue:
Authorities had agreed to rename his statue, which was erected in 1895, to highlight his role in slavery but the process became deadlocked because of conflicting views.
Is there a timeline of actions proposed or taken by the council with regard to Colston's statue before its toppling? What caused the deadlock?