Take down Nelson this year, says Denny

The New Year has not ushered in an easing up of debate over the controversial statue of British admiral Horatio Nelson, which was defaced on the eve of Barbados’ independence last November.

With prominent pan-Africanists such as Trevor Marshall, Anthony Mighty Gabby Carter, Sir Hilary Beckles and David Comissiong insisting the figure must be removed from Heroes Square, pan-Africanist and trade unionist David Denny has added his voice to the debate.

Denny told a Kwanzaa celebration organized by the Haynesville Youth Group and the Pan-African Coalition that the Freundel Stuart Government ought to place the removal of the statue on its agenda this year.

“Lord Nelson represents slavery and therefore we cannot and we should not allow Lord Nelson to remain in our National Heroes Square and not even one of our national heroes is standing in our National Heroes Square. It is an insult to African people living in Barbados,” Denny, the general secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, said to much applause as he addressed the event to honour African heritage at the police outpost in Haynesville, St James.

The statue of the British hero has stood at what was then Trafalgar Square – renamed Heroes Square in 1999 in honour of Barbadian heroes – for over 200 years. For most of this period it looked down on the square and Broad Street, before it was turned 180 degrees by a Democratic Labour Party administration after public protest.

It was covered in yellow spray paint and other graffiti on November 29 last year, with whoever defacing it leaving a sign: “Lord Nelson will Fall. This racist white supremacist who would rather die than see black persons free, stands proudly in our nation’s capital. Nelson must go! Fear not Barbadians have spoken, politicians have failed us.”

The text was similar to the headline of a column written by Sir Hilary in September last year, calling for the removal of the sculpture.

In the piece entitled, Why Nelson Must Fall, the UWI vice chancellor referred to the exploits of the naval warlord.

“Nelson . . . by his political decisions, military actions and public speeches, was a vile, racist, white supremacist; he disposed black people, and dedicated his political and military life to the cause of protecting Britain’s criminal possession of the 800,000 enslaved Africans held during his lifetime.

“The 85,000 enslaved Blacks entrapped in Barbados only knew of Nelson as leader of the naval power dedicated to keeping them in slavery. The 15,000 slave owners in Barbados who welcomed Nelson in the Caribbean and celebrated his presence, did so because their greatest fear was black freedom,” he wrote.

Sir Hilary later came out strongly in defence of whoever defaced the statue, suggesting that one day the person or persons may very well be revered by society for seeking to right an “immoral” wrong.

Meantime, Denny also renewed his call for Nanny Grigg, described as a valued component in the Bussa Revolution of 1816, and pan-Africanist and social activist Israel Lovell, to be recognized as national heroes for their contributions to the fight for freedom and enlightenment of the Barbadian population.

“Israel Lovell’s contribution in the 1930s means a lot to the liberation of the black working class in Barbados and for the creation of the labour movement that represents the black working class in Barbados,” Denny said, while adding that  Grigg played an influential role in educating Barbadian slaves about the revolution in Haiti.

Denny also suggested that the St Mary’s Primary School should be renamed after Gabby, while calling on Government to rename the Fairchild Street bus terminal after Spiritual Baptist leader Granville Williams for his contributions to strengthening the African ancestry in the church.

29 Responses to Take down Nelson this year, says Denny

  1. E Jerome Davis
    E Jerome Davis January 2, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Denny why you dian leave de man?

  2. Larry Thompson
    Larry Thompson January 2, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Bigger problems than worrying about nelson

    • Sarah Amlot
      Sarah Amlot January 2, 2018 at 11:29 pm

      Agreed … it’s a lump of stone … get over it and deal with the important stuff

      • Sue Donym January 3, 2018 at 8:34 am

        Bronze, actually. But having an opinion won’t stop anyone from dealing with important stuff

  3. Avery Bowen
    Avery Bowen January 2, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Who is going to pay for his removal?

    • jennifer January 2, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      I would pay for a plain loader to just push towards the water.

    • Sarah Amlot
      Sarah Amlot January 2, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      Well said… it is not worth worrying about when you consider everything else that is

  4. jennifer January 2, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    Of course take down nelson – and leave all the other remnants of slavery.

    • jennifer January 2, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      Wanna like licking too much red ass, to sever anything.

  5. Jean-Marc Cozier
    Jean-Marc Cozier January 2, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    History is history wether good or bad , if he and others want Nelson removed then demolish all the buildings the British built, Garrison barracks , museum , parliament etc , get rid of them all !!
    Send all the whites back to England and the blacks back to Africa and let the place run away with river tamarind, Denny and his likes need to be more productive and do something that would uplift and help the country instead of dwelling on the past . Forward ever backwards never!!
    These people get on like they made themselves and only stopping progression of the uneducated who they tend to get to listen to there crap

    • Sue Donym January 3, 2018 at 8:44 am

      The reason for removing Nelson would be to discontinue homage to an unworthy subject. What would be the reason for demolishing the other structures?
      Where would you send the mixed race persons?
      Who do you hope to influence with your pronouncements @Jean-Marc Cozier – will your words selectively reach the educated and stop *their* progression?

  6. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow January 2, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Barbados is a Independent with much dependency on Merry ole England,That is reality period….Who will bell the CAT?

  7. Kerry Tailz A
    Kerry Tailz A January 2, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Get rid of it . Serves no purpose . But of course bajans talk a good game but fall for anything . Massa say keep Nelson up so we can be reminded.

  8. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan January 2, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Write the cheque for his removal and disposal, Mr Denny because you clearly believe that Barbados has money to waste on nonsense

  9. luther thorne January 2, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Denny look different.

    Anyhow Nelson Statue is the focus of attention. How many years since Lord Nelson was supposed to have fought and perished ?

  10. archy perch January 3, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Take down Nelson and erect a statue of David Comissiong with David Denny at his feet looking upwards towards Comissiong’s chin. Barbados’s two most relentless supporters of communism and its dictators, especially in Cuba and Venezuela.

  11. Sheron Inniss January 3, 2018 at 6:35 am

    All those who want Nelson moved please pay for it. Aren’t there more important things to do with the money this administration claims it does not have.

  12. Richard Johnston January 3, 2018 at 7:59 am

    How is Nelson in particular a symbol of slavery? What about Victoria? Where does it end?

  13. De Fish Man January 3, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Oh!!! also don’t forget that if you take down Nelson to also take down every church all of the parliament buildings every plantation house that was built by the English.Take down all of the defense force historical buildings all of the old fort stare down all of the buildings in Spieghts town & Brigetown from that era.Take every thing down just erase all history of Barbados & teach our youth about the history of people in Africa & forget completely about Barbados.Stop farming sugar cane change the names of 99% of the roads & last but not least change the Royal Barbados Police Force to just the Police Force & also change our government system from the Westminster System to Whatever ever ya like..!!
    As if Barbadians have time or money to waste at this time on this nonsense..!!!
    The most important thing to have is an election & get rid of these yahoo’s who have dragged us down to garbage downgraded status….
    Stop worrying about Nelson…..!!!
    He was a part of Barbados’s history just like Bussa he was here too weather you like it or not & that can never be changed
    Shame on the Government of Barbados….

  14. Carlisle Norville January 3, 2018 at 9:21 am

    it is ok to make comments, what is most important is do Barbadians know the true history of Lord Nelson,it is recorded that he was acting on behalf of the British empire ,he was @war against the Spanish Armada he heard that the Spanish fleet was in the Carribean, so he sailed down hear to destroy the fleet, he fought wars for the queen, he was ruthless, a murder, & a hoar man, there was nothing decent about him,( why do we have the stature of a british criminal in out main town ,he did not like blacks he asociated himself with slave owners ,his stature should have been torn down a long time ago ,( his srature represents white supremacy & ownership over blacks.most whites in barbados, especially the ones that their ancestors were slave owners, want nelson to remain people like me, who know what he stands for, would blow him to bits, when i finish with him, there would be no sign that he was ever there. Hahahaaaaaaaa

    • Carlisle Norville January 3, 2018 at 9:33 am

      I was so hyped up typing about Nelson, that I forgot to read my comments ( only to now discover that after posting I have spelt a lot of words WRONG) please I did not go to brumly, i went to the Barbados Academy, & modern High school ,so I should be able to master my English (PLEASE Excuse my misspelling)readers.

  15. Falernum January 3, 2018 at 10:18 am

    How about offering the statue for sale? It ought to bring in quite a few million at auction, and the owner will certainly breakeven by exhibiting it to heritage buffs. When we have got over our antipathies in the next generation, President Denny’ll buy it back for a billion (devalued) dollars.

  16. jrsmith January 3, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    A certain businessman in Barbados once said the people who is making all the noises in Barbados ,is people who has never contributed anything to the economy of Barbados………..All the so call experts and has bins offers nothing to bajans other than reminding them of slavery……….
    Its hard to understand , why these people don’t have the guts or balls to directly challenge the politicians who are the ones destroying Barbados………….All this is quite clear some one has got to be blame for our country’s failing easy , take it out on Nelsons the white Englishman , you could move him tomorrow and nothing will change , what next to move ….
    Try this one go to all the bible whacking churches , remove the pictures of the blonde haired blueyed white man , I dare you all to try this you are all fake *******s …….
    We the black people , are where we are because we have failed each other ……… Blaming the white man for everything which is wrong with us………

  17. Donild Trimp January 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    I agree with you David Denny.

    Nelson should be taken down. Nothing more to discuss.

  18. Belfast January 4, 2018 at 1:12 am

    Bajans are some funny people. Take down Nelson because he was active in the slave trade, they say. Are we the same Barbadians who contributed millions of dollars towards the construction of a lasting memorial at Bush Hill to an American slave owner who visited Barbados for a few days.
    We are no better than those on the southern side of Bush Hill.

  19. Commander Ralph w Talma Royal Navy (retd) January 4, 2018 at 3:45 am

    1. Oh, what a very sad way to start the New Year! Poor B’dos is now really in the pits, when supposedly very well educated people are deliberately being economical with the actuality. Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson was a public servant and brilliant Royal Navy Officer who obeyed the orders of the UK Government in inter alia defending the West Indies against invasion. He also took part in many raids against the slave traders of the time.
    2. Please enlighten me people, when did B’dos become a part of the continent of Africa with a population of angry pan-Africanists. I left my island in 1961 to join the RN so I must have missed some important Government pronouncements.

    • Sue Donym January 4, 2018 at 9:16 am

      @Commander Talma, by public servant yo mean not of the general public (including slaves) but of the ruling class. He defended the place against invasion so that it would not be captured and claimed as they did from others. He spoke publicly about his determination to uphold the status quo i.e the social division and the means by which it was maintained.

      Who claims that Barbados is part of Africa, and why is anger suggested as the motivator for anyone who disagrees with a stand that holds any race inferior? You might have missed many important pronouncements, but thinking for oneself needs no permission from government or naval officers.

      That is a reality that is liberally accepted, even if not pleasing to all.

  20. Ray Aldis January 4, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Whilst the objections to Nelson’s statue may be argued, please don’t make Nelson out to be a “vile racist”. He was no different 99% of other men of his time. He simply accepted that slavery existed and that was that. Any escaped slave that swam to one of his Navy ships was taken on board, signed on and received the same pay as any other sailor and when discharged was a free man. When one of Nelson’s subordinates put forward a proposal to replace slavery with Chinese labour Nelson fully supported the idea. Following the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 the Royal Navy captured over 1,600 slave ships between 1808 and 1860, liberating 150,000 slaves. This was achieved thanks to Nelson’s victories giving the Royal Navy total dominance of the sea. Had he not died at Trafalgar he would undoubtedly have been responsible for carrying out these anti-slavery operations and as with all he did, he would have done it with utmost vigour. So please do as you will with his statue but don’t re-write history

  21. Tony Waterman January 6, 2018 at 6:04 am

    “Lord Nelson represents slavery and therefore we cannot and we should not allow Lord Nelson to remain in our National Heroes Square and not even one of our national heroes is standing in our National Heroes Square. It is an insult to African people living in Barbados,”

    As in the earlier cases of Bermuda and Virginia, an assembly made up of owners of at least 10 acres (4 hectares) of freehold land was established in Barbados in 1639. Elections were held annually. There were also a council and a governor who was appointed first by the lord proprietor and, after the 1660s, by the king.

    SO Does our Parliament Buildings which was established in 1639, and which none of us was allowed to be ELECTED to until 1843 when Samuel jackman prescod was elected, and even then he was NOT a Pure Black, he was a Half caste.{204 years later}

    So lets get rid of BOTH Horatio Nelson, and the Parliament Buildings, because as far as i can see they both carry the Same Baggage.

    so as far as i am Concerned, Trevor Marshall, Anthony Mighty Gabby Carter, Sir Hilary Beckles and David Comissiong are all grand standing.


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