Pero’s Bridge, the busy pedestrian bridge crossing the harbour, was opened in 1999 and named after Pero Jones - an enslaved African who lived in Bristol. There is a small plaque dedicating the bridge to Pero, but hidden behind bike stands, it is barely visible to passers-by.
We think that Pero’s memory, and the rest of Bristol’s slave trading past, should be properly highlighted at the site, and are calling for a proper noticeboard detailing the history of the slave trade, including Pero’s story, and the recent story of the Colston statue being taken down and thrown into the Harbour not 30 feet from the bridge.
In recent years the bridge has been adorned with thousands of 'love-locks', meant to symbolise the love of the couples that place them. While this love is admirable, the symbolism of covering a bridge dedicated to a slave in padlocks is not acceptable. The locks should be removed, and a different site should be suggested for any future shows of love.
Lib Dem candidate for Hotwells & Harbourside, Alex Hartley, examining the 'love-locks'
Alex Hartley, Lib Dem Candidate for Hotwells & Harbourside said "Bristol has a difficult relationship with it's past as a centre of slavery, but this is not something we can forget. We need to educate all about our collective history. What is the point in naming a bridge after a slave if you don't eduacte Bristolians about that slave or the slave trade in general. To add insult to injury, the symbolism of hundreds of padlocks being attached to a bridge named after a slave is frankly shocking. We need to respect Pero's memory by removing the love-locks and putting up a proper noticeboard highlighting our past"
Please sign the petition to Respect Pero's Memory below;