The Melville statue in St Andrew Square that commemorates Henry Dundas has been graffitied following Black Lives Matter protests in the Capital. 

The Edinburgh Evening News reports that the words ‘George Floyd’ and ‘BLM’ now cover the base of the statue.

Dundas delayed the abolition of slavery, with his gradualist approach allowing the practice to continue for 15 more years than it would otherwise have done, during which time an estimated 630,000 people were transported to Britain as slaves.

READ MORE:  Edinburgh ready to face up to dark past of Henry Dundas, philanthropist who also championed slavery


The statue in Edinburgh has been the topic of debate for years with many calling for it to be replaced or for a plaque placed at the statue explaining the details of Dundas and his links with the slave trade.

A low plaque currently informs visitors who search for it that he was a dominant figure in politics for more than 40 years. “ Besides being treasurer to the navy he was lord advocate & keeper of the Scottish signet.”

According to Adam Ramsay, co-editor of Open Democracy: He was an enthusiastic funder of slavery, who as home secretary sent troops to put down revolts against slavery and oppression. He told The Herald“He was directly responsible for the transportation of the Scottish Martyrs,” Mr Ramsay says. As First Lord of the Admiralty, he also had a pivotal role in the expansion of the British Empire.

Sunday’s Black Lives Matter rallies attracted thousands of people right across the UK and Europe with events in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the rest of the UK. 

Lewis Capaldi was pictured alongside protesters at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, while rapper Stormzy attended the London protest.

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London Black Lives Matter also organised an online protest via Zoom for those unable to attend the demonstrations, which attracted more than 10,000 people.

Elsewhere, the operational patrol unit of Warwickshire Police tweeted that the M6 southbound was temporarily closed soon after 6pm due to pedestrian protesters blocking the carriageway at Junction 3.

In Manchester, hundreds crowded into St Peter’s Square, kneeling in silence as a mark of respect for African-American man George Floyd, who died after a white police officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck on May 25.