On Sunday, June 7th, a troupe of anti-racism protestors in Bristol pulled down the statue of Edward Colston — a 17th Century slave trader— and dumped the bronze immortalisation of the human stain in the deep waters of a harbour.
This action sparked protestors across the world to reflect on the sordid, colonial history of their respective countries. The action of removing the statue of Edward Colston has had a ripple effect, with many civilians and government officials calling for a removal of slave traders and colonists monuments.
The U.K. protests traversed over the U.S. where statues of Christopher Columbus have been toppled and beheaded in Richmond and Boston, respectively.
In Richmond, Virginia, a petition has begun circulating. The petition is calling for the statue of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee to be torn down and replaced by the late Oderus Urungus of GWAR. The heavy metal icon is a hometown hero of Richmond, and GWAR fans are committed to seeing his legacy commemorated.
The Change.org petition (which currently has 8,129 signatures) offers a convincing case:
“Robert E. Lee is a failed war general that supported a racist cause,” the petition, led by “GWAR Scumdog” states. “For too long, the city of Richmond has been displaying statues of him and other loser civil war veterans. We the scumdogs of the universe call on the city of Richmond to erect a statue of great local leader Oderus Urungus in its place.
“While Oderus comes from the planet Scumdogia, he called Richmond his home, working with the local art community and employing local artists and ladies of the night.”
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The petition was spurred by onetime GWAR dancer and backup vocalist, Slymenstra Hymen (aka Danielle Stampe). Who shared a photo of a Photoshopped image of Oderus in place of Robert E. Lee’s statue in Richmond. This incited a GWAR “scumdog” to start the petition on Change.org.
The petition asks that after you sign, you make a donation to the Richmond COVID-19 Arts and Culture Relief Fund.
GWAR have been keeping busy and brazy during the coronavirus pandemic. They cracked off a truly bonkers interview on CNN to update fans on their life in self-isolation — an interview that saw them encourage fans to drink bleach to cure the virus. They also appeared in a Frank Iero music video.