5-speed listening (King Leopold II Statue - Level 1)

Statue of Belgian King taken down after protests






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Anti-racism protestors in Belgium covered a statue of former King Leopold II in paint. Workers pulled the statue down. Hundreds of protestors cheered. Leopold was king from 1865 to 1909. He ruled the Congo Free State in Africa for 23 years. City officials will probably put the statue in a museum. One official said: "The square where the statue stood will be redesigned in 2023. There will be no room for it there afterwards."

Over 64,000 people signed a petition. They want people to know what happened in the Congo. The petition said that in 23 years, "this man killed more than 10 million Congolese" without ever even going to the Congo. A newspaper said these deaths led to the first use of the term, "crime against humanity". Leopold made a lot of money from rubber plantations. Over 8,000 people signed a different petition. They say the people who ran the Congo caused the deaths.

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