Anti-racism campaigners rename Glasgow streets linked to slave owners

Megan Baynes, PA

Anti-racism campaigners have renamed streets in Glasgow city centre that have links to the slave trade.

In several streets, signs with a black background and white font have appeared alongside the originals, as activists replace the names of tobacco lords and slave trade owners in favour of black activists, slaves and those killed by police officers.

Cochrane Street — named after Andrew Cochrane, an 18th-century tobacco lord — has been alternatively named ‘Sheku Bayoh Street’.

A sign alternatively naming Cochrane Street ‘Sheku Bayoh Street’ in Glasgow. (PA)

Sheku Bayoh died in 2015 in police custody in Scotland, aged 32 after he was restrained by officers responding to a call in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

His sister — who is a nurse — said her family would have attended planned demonstrations in Scotland this weekend but the danger of spreading coronavirus is “still too great”.

Buchanan Street, named after a slave owner, was renamed George Floyd Street, however the sign has now been removed.

Buchanan Street in Glasgow, which previously had a sign up alternatively naming it ‘George Floyd Street’. The sign has since been removed (PA)

Wilson Street has been suggested as Rosa Parks Street instead.

African American Mr Floyd died after a white police officer knelt on his knee in Minneapolis on May 25. His death has sparked days of protest around the world.

The Glasgow street name changes come after more than 11,500 people have signed a petition to rename streets named after slave owners.

A sign alternatively naming Wilson Street ‘Rosa Parks Street’ and Glassford Street ‘Fred Hampton Street’ in Glasgow (PA)

The petitions states: “I think it’s important to take these tobacco lords off the pedestal they seemingly stand on and instead recognise other Scottish activists who are deserving of such esteem.”