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Defacement of Churchill Statue in Edmonton, Canada

International Churchill Society Statement on defacement of Churchill statue in Edmonton, Canada

Last week the statue of Winston Churchill in Edmonton, Canada was defaced by red paint. Presumably the unknown artist shares the view of those who soon afterwards vandalized Churchill College in Cambridge, England by using spray paint to stencil the words “Churchill was a racist” on a wall of the school. This view has been repeatedly debunked by scholars but nevertheless continues to resurface wherever Churchill’s achievements are celebrated.

Churchill believed that governments had to respect the dignity of all human beings. This is why he was among the first to be alert to the Nazi danger. He understood that a system that respected dignity for only some people had no dignity at all and corrupted all those associated with it. For this reason, he became the primary object of attack by the supporters of Hitler.

Seventy-six years after the end of the Second World War, Churchill is attacked not by young fanatics wearing armbands with swastikas but by mobs that sincerely feel they are the antithesis of the Nazis. Thus, past and present prove that political extremes can converge in both behavior and belief.

Yet without Churchill’s immense achievements in the cause of freedom during the crucial year of 1940, the fascists, true racist idealogues, would likely have won the Second World War. Today’s protesters should remember that their liberty to protest was secured and defended by the people who Churchill was honored to lead. If today’s society is to see further than the people of Churchill’s age, it will be because we stand on the shoulders of giants.

To learn more about Churchill’s legacy and to support our mission, please visit this page.

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The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.