The recent protester-initiated takedown of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol (due to his affiliation with slave trade) has sparked much debate, forcing societies to rethink who they choose to honor through this medium.

This has also inspired the takedown of a number of other statues, namely those of Christopher Columbus, Jefferson Davis, and the Portsmouth Confederate Statue, and there are also demands to remove the Cecil Rhodes statue in the UK as well.

And while this statue purge continues, it’s important to note that not all statues honor people of dubious or debatable reputation, as there are a number of them honoring political leaders, social activists, and all-around good guys in history.

Twitter has recently begun sharing photos of statues honoring people who have genuinely stood for peace, equality, and justice, speaking against structural racism, sexism, homophobia, and many other social issues.

Bored Panda invites you to check out the best picks below. While you’re there, why not vote on your favorites and leave a comment in the comments section below.

#1

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

fastcarspete Report

Katrin
Community Member
4 months ago

I simply love this

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#2

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

JustSabina_ Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
4 months ago

What a woman!

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#3

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

SilkCutBlue Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

I remember reading about him. An amazing and Very modest man. I think there is a show somewhere where they put him in an audience and he didn’t know they had surrounded him with all the hundreds of descendants of the children he had saved.

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#4

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

corinapickering Report

Electric Ed
Community Member
4 months ago

This is probably in Grenada, the country in the West Indies. Not Granada, the land-locked city in Spain. Though there is a New Granada too, which seems to be a catch-all for the Spanish colonies in the americas.

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#5

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

_Cailin_Corcra_ Report

Jon S.
Community Member
4 months ago

It was quite interesting reading about the famine. Initially, there was a huge response by the British government to help the famine victims and very large charity drives throughout the British isles. However, after the first year of the famine public sympathy had dried up. Papers were blaming mismanagement in Ireland, underestimating the number of people affected by on going starvation. Politicians were concerned ongoing intervention in the food markets was having more a detrimental then beneficial effect. Public sympathy had turned to hostility as waves of Irish migrants arrived in Britain. So the remaining years of famine the Irish peasants were on their own. It reminded me of the way the EU responded to the migrant crisis in modern times, initially with a huge out pouring of empathy and accepting many millions in, then cold disinterest and rejection.

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#6

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

Sarakimbap Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
4 months ago

Beautiful

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#7

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

fleshflesh808 Report

ElusiveIntrovert
Community Member
4 months ago

That's how a true leader should be, not some idiot who can wage a war by typing gibberish on Twitter.

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#8

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

_James_Holt_ Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

He helped the allies win the war by breaking the Enigma code, but after the war him being gay was the only thing that mattered. Nowadays he is praised for what he has achieved, but his contemporaries condemned him for whom he loved.

varwenea
Community Member
4 months ago

Plus, it was only in 2013 that he was finally pardoned for his so called crimes of indecency.

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Munhu Afro
Community Member
4 months ago

This man was a genius. Modern computing wouldn't be where it is were it not for his contributions . Very sad the society of the day were bothered by his gayness.

Pseudo Puppy
Community Member
4 months ago

Brilliant movie "The Imitation Game" starring Benedict Cumberbatch... is brilliant, heartbraking, and makes me so mad on his behalf. He was treated horrifically; used by the government for his immense genius, and literally tortured by them for his sexuality. the government-sanctioned bigotry was horrific. He deserved better, & thankfully received a postumous pardon for his conviction due to his sexuality. Sadly, he committed suicide within 3 years of his arrest for being gay, just before his 42nd birthday.

jevais
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

The church going WASPS have killed so many innocent people because of their sexual orientation, the couleur of their skin, their religion and so on. This brilliant gentleman, Mr Turing, who saved Europe from the Germans during WW2 was thank by the British government by being castrated. . Bunch of hypocrites these British, they hide behind their titles /political jobs.

Kailey
Community Member
4 months ago

That poor man. He saved millions of lives, helped shorten the war. And yet he died by a poisoned apple(suicide) Just because he was a homosexual.

Elsahthescienceguy
Community Member
4 months ago

Chemical castration. I looked it up and basically they injected drugs that make you horny (aphrodisiacs) in his testicles. Being a gay kid, this breaks my heart. I’m so thankful that my parents are so understanding.

Gin
Community Member
4 months ago

It's actually anaphrodisiac (meaning anti-aphrodisiac) drugs that reduce libido, i.e. make you less horny. Just clarifying.

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Linda HS
Community Member
4 months ago

Benedict Cumberbatch played amazing Alan Turing's role! Amazing story!

Cheryl Fontaine
Community Member
4 months ago

Heartbreaking... the blindness, the stupidity, the fear of those who will not understand ...

Palestinian warrior
Community Member
4 months ago

I watched a movie about him! I think it was called the imitation game. It's a very nice movie, I recommend it to everyone!

KT
Community Member
4 months ago

Poor guy :(

veronica bingham
Community Member
4 months ago

So sad and wrongly treated for being his true self.!!!

Elaine Mattingly
Community Member
4 months ago

An evil person can find many ways to condem and destroy by ignoring the great things people accomplish while pretending to defend their own personal opinion about that person's private life.

Hilary Minor
Community Member
4 months ago

There is also a statue to Alan Turing in the grounds of the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. Much revered.

Carolyn Taylor
Community Member
4 months ago

He and Oscar Wilde were only two of many people martyred by their love.

Alex
Community Member
4 months ago

The apple in his hand might reference how he died. His death was ruled as a suicide by eating an apple covered with cyanide poisoning. Evidence now suggests that it was an accidental poisoning. Others speculate a conspiracy where one of the most brilliant minds was murdered because he was a threat. No one will ever really know what happened. He saved millions of people with his genius mind. It so sad because he had so much ahead of him.

Beth Heilman
Community Member
4 months ago

So sad

Neelam Pathak
Community Member
4 months ago

wow, great painting, and I just love it. it's as good as like game of thrones dragons names

Heather Hayllar
Community Member
4 months ago

How barbaric

Rainy Day Wolf
Community Member
4 months ago

Gay Village!

Kailey
Community Member
4 months ago

At least he was named the icon of the 20th century

Marjorie King
Community Member
3 months ago

Yes.

Seren Davis
Community Member
4 months ago

😈

Nitya Hariharan
Community Member
4 months ago

Instead of asking for an apology, they pardoned him. Absolute rubbish of a pardon.

Sophie Foster
Community Member
4 months ago

Gay village?¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Tracy Wood
Community Member
4 months ago

So sad

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#9

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

Pip_est89 Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
4 months ago

The US sent a whole shipload back to Nazi Germany

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#10

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

cnombret Report

Daria B
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Member of a royal family sold into slavery. It's sad, but it's interesting, makes you think...

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#11

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

revkatebottley Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

People talk all the time about how Americans saved everyone in WWII. It was women. If women hadn’t stepped up to do all the work while the men went off to war, entire countries would have collapsed.

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#12

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

InFluxSince83 Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
4 months ago

Powerful and sad at same time

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#13

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

HerefortheMerl2 Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
4 months ago

I've read her diary when I was 14 and I couldn't do it again. Reading it with the knowledge of what happened was emotionally too stressful for me at that age.

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#14

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

JudithFreedman Report

Elsahthescienceguy
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

That’s odd.... I know Virginia like the back of my hand and no one has ever told me that this beautiful and meaningful statue existed!

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#15

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

moongiggles Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
4 months ago

For those who are confused about Spanish and Portuguese mentioned above: Magellan was indeed Portuguese, but he sailed under the Spanish flag.

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#16

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

firendeslre Report

beja flor
Community Member
4 months ago

Thanks for sharing this, I didn't know. So powerful ...

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#17

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

onthemoon69 Report

Chris DiFonso
Community Member
4 months ago

I wasn't familiar with Miss Davison, so I did research. She was an English suffragette. During one of her protests, she threw herself in front of the King's horse at Epsom Derby. She died four days later.

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#18

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

LaurenceL_Art Report

Tracey Hirt
Community Member
4 months ago

While Riel did sentence Thomas Scott to execution by firing squad, he himself never carried weapons and never personally killed anyone. He was a leader who led a rebellion, who was then executed for treason.

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#19

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

SammSpamm1 Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

I like the idea of this but making them naked feels a bit debasing.

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#20

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

Tweettweetter Report

Puna
Community Member
4 months ago

Boy is this information wrong! Bartholdi designed it to stand at the entrance of the Suez Canal in Egypt. They turned it down because of cost.

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#21

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

krayziedoc Report

Munhu Afro
Community Member
4 months ago

Reminds me painfully of Marikana South Africa. Imperialism and Capitalism at their best

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#22

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

JaneyGodley Report

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
4 months ago

Fuck Franco! :P

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#23

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

SterHardaway Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

Yes! We need more of these.

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#24

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

CuteGal432121 Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

I thought he had four arms for a minute.

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#25

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

ARCASH Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

I will always be confused by the stone they used for this incredible monument.

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#26

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

Sphiwe52346137 Report

beja flor
Community Member
4 months ago

Where is this statue?

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#27

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

TinkerbellTinny Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

Who chose the proportions for that statue?!

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#28

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

rattlecans Report

Chris DiFonso
Community Member
4 months ago

I did research since I wasn't familiar with Mary Barbour. She was closely associated with the Red Clydeside movement in the early 20th century and especially for her role as the main organiser of the women of Govan who took part in the rent strikes of 1915

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#29

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

UgonnaOkoro Report

Jon S.
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Its natural that this woman's story makes people feel uncomfortable. During the 19th century everyone in Britain was told colonialism and missionary work was an unmitigated good, because it allowed people like Slessor to do the things she did. After decolonisation in the 1970s we were told it was a terribly corrupt practice which led to widespread, abuse, exploitation and destruction of native cultures through arrogance. I sought out some opinions from the people who were evangelised and guess what? There was no consensus even among them. One man said "Westernisation was wonderful. No body kills anyone anymore, we can trade for food and clothes" and another said "westernisation was terrible. Everybody has become an alcoholic, no one does proper work. We don't know who we are anymore"

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