Rhodes Must Surely Fall
March 16, 2016 § 1 Comment
“… the establishment, promotion and development of a secret society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, The Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan…”
This is the vision of the future embodied in Cecil Rhodes’ will, which also contained a bequest to Oriel College in Oxford, the latter being the excuse repeatedly given for retaining the statue on its facade.
As well as the quotation above, I also learned from Amit Chaudhuri’s article in today’s Guardian that Oriel is well known (at least among all those who studied at that university) as the most conservative and monarchist college in the Oxford constellation. It’s all the more shameful that the Rhodes Must Fall campaign still has to battle on and that the statue’s defenders persist.
Chaudhuri’s insightful and detailed piece places the campaign (indeed he refers to it as a movement) within the much deeper context of the long fight against British colonialism and its continuing manifestations today.