100 signatures reached
To: Mayor of Bristol & Bristol City Council.
Ban padlocks on slave memorial bridge
To Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol. In the heart of Bristol is a pedestrian bridge crossing the harbour. The City Council agreed the name Pero’s Bridge to honour a young enslaved African, Pero Jones, who in the 18th century was sold into slavery aged 12 & brought by his ‘owner’ to live in Bristol. Pero was never granted his freedom & died enslaved. A tiny plaque by the bridge tells this story.
Pero’s Bridge is now defaced with thousands of padlocks, so called ‘lovelocks’ locked on to its structure. The keys most likely dropped into the water below. Only a few steps from the bridge is the place where, in 2020, the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was thrown into the harbour.
I call upon the Mayor & City Councillors of Bristol to remove these hideous padlocks, not symbols of love at all but of oppression down the centuries, of enslaved people chained & padlocked with the keys thrown away, those people disrespected still today in the very place where they should be honoured.
Why is this important?
Pero’s Bridge is named after an enslaved person, someone our city chose to honour by naming the bridge for him. To have it weighed down by the very symbols of oppression disrespects his memory.