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The City of London Won’t Remove Its Slave Trade-Linked Statues After All

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The City of London Won’t Remove Its Slave Trade-Linked Statues After All
A statue of English merchant and slave trader Sir John Cass in central London on June 10, 2020. TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

In a reversal of its previously decided-upon stance, the City of London has decided to “retain and explain” its statues of William Beckford and Sir John Cass, two British politicians with deep ties to the slave trade. Previously, back in January, the City of London had voted to remove the statues, a decision that flew in the face of the UK government; the government has been drawing up new laws intended to protect the very kind of problematic statuary that people are now questioning the validity of. Now, the City of London’s updated strategy seems to very much align with the country’s governmental body.

Doug Barrow, the City of London Corporation Statues Working Group’s Chairman, explained the updated strategy thusly: the tactic, he said, “enables us to acknowledge and address the legacy of our past with openness and honesty, not to try and erase history but to place it in its proper context. We can’t be blind to the fact the history of the City is inextricably linked to slavery, which is a stain on our past and, shockingly, remains a feature of life today in many parts of the world.”

However, earlier in the year, the City of London’s stance was very different. “This decision is the culmination of months of valuable work by the Tackling Racism taskforce, which has taken a comprehensive approach to addressing injustice and inequality,” Catherine McGuinness, the City of London Corporation Policy Chair, said in January. “The view of members was that removing and re-siting statues linked to slavery is an important milestone in our journey towards a more inclusive and diverse City.”

Ultimately, though, the new laws proposed by the UK government stipulate that individuals will need to have documented building consent or permission from the planning department before any statue can be removed.

The City of London Won’t Remove Its Slave Trade-Linked Statues After All

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

ST. LOUIS – A local Boy Scout troop is heartbroken after a trailer carrying all their camping equipment was stolen over the weekend in the Holly Hills neighborhood. Now, the troop is asking for the public’s help to either find the trailer or help replace the items lost.

Troop 104’s bright red trailer was stolen Friday morning around 5 a.m. Scoutmaster Michael Lohff said the truck and all the equipment inside totaled more than $15,000, including tents, cookware, and tarps. He said all the items were acquired from years of donations and fundraising. 

“It has a big impact on the fact that we’re going to have to look up replacing everything as we go along, or definitely before we hit the road again, and we want to be able to do that very soon,” Lohff said.  

He said he brought a bright red trailer when he first started with the troop so he could carry all the troop’s equipment for camping and other activities.  

“They’re basically stealing from kids; that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “Whoever did take the trailer and all that equipment from the boys. They stole from the boys that are members of the troop and have been members of the troop for all these years.”

Lohff said all the items were acquired through donations and fundraising by his scout members.

The trailer was parked in a private lot in the Holly Hills neighborhood in south St. Louis. Lohff said he has parked the trailer there for nearly two decades without any incident. He was heartbroken to find the trailer had been stolen.

“That raises very personal concerns of who’s right behind my backyard,” neighbor Chuck Smith said.

Smith lives a couple of doors down from the lot. He said the trailer has become a neighborhood staple over the years.

“To do it at this time of year before Christmas, it just seems like a very insensitive thing to do,” he said.  

Lohff said the trailer also got broken into last year, but only a few items were stolen after that incident. But after this recent theft, he’s going to upgrade his security. He said police do not have any security footage. 

Anyone with information on the person or persons responsible for the theft is asked to call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at 314-444-0100 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

There is a GoFundMe page to help the troop replace the stolen trailer and gear.

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Saint Louis Zoo wants gun activist who fought its ban to pay legal bills

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Saint Louis Zoo wants gun activist who fought its ban to pay legal bills

ST. LOUIS (AP) — After successfully defending its weapons ban in court, the Saint Louis Zoo is now trying to force the gun-rights activist who challenged the ban to pay part of its $150,000 in legal bills.

The zoo filed a request for its request for legal fees in August, but a judge has yet to rule on the motion.

A lawyer for Jeffry Smith of Cincinnati, Ohio, who challenged the ban on guns called the motion unfair.

A St. Louis judge ruled last year that the zoo could ban guns on its property because it qualifies as a school and a gated amusement park under state law.

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61-year-old found dead in burning St. Louis County home

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61-year-old found dead in burning St. Louis County home

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson detectives are investigating an overnight house fire in south St. Louis County that claimed the life of a 61-year-old man.

According to Officer Adrian Washington, a spokesperson for the St. Louis County Police Department, officers responded to a call for a house fire in the 3500 block of Eileen Ann Drive around 1:35 a.m. Sunday.

Police arrived and saw heavy smoke coming from the home. Firefighters searched the residence and found a man’s body in the basement.

Anyone with information on the investigation can contact the St. Louis County Police Department 636-529-8210 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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