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During a Black Lives Matter protest in London this weekend, June 13, a black protester carried a white counter-protester to safety, and the images are striking.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, protests and demonstrations have been an almost daily occurrence in many cities across the world.
The most recent demonstration in London involved clashes between protesters, police, and those believed to be far-right counter-protesters.
However, an image captured among the protests – of a Black Lives Matter supporter carrying a suspected far-right protester to safety over his shoulder – has been shared far and wide, showing violence and division is never the answer.
As the image shows, the white, suspected far-right man is clutching his head after receiving an injury. Carried by a black Black Lives Matter demonstrator and flanked by police, the white man is carried to safety away from the crowds.
The protest was taking place outside Royal Festival Hall in central London. The white man was badly beaten, Metro reports, before other protesters stepped in to protect him.
Throughout the day, there had been clashes between far-right activists and anti-racism groups.
Groups of far-right activists, many organised by Britain First, had gathered at Parliament Square in a bid to ‘defend’ memorials after the statue of Winston Churchill was defaced, and the statue of Edward Colston, a 17th century slave trader, was torn down in Bristol.
Anticipating clashes with far-right groups, Black Lives Matter cancelled a protest that was planned for Saturday, June 13. London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged people to stay away from the city, as the risk of violence increased due to demonstrations being usurped by counter-protesters. However, peaceful protesters holding placards still gathered at Trafalgar Square.
Clashes between BLM protesters and far-right groups occurred later than day, and more than 100 people were arrested, with offences including violent disorder, assaulting police officers, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class A drugs, being drunk and disorderly and breaching the peace.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has condemned the far-right counter-protests as ‘racist thuggery’, and warned those being violent and aggressive will be dealt with by police.
According to Met Police, six officers received ‘minor injuries’ after ‘pockets of violence’ broke out in London, with far-right groups attacking police and journalists with smoke bombs and projectiles, Metro reports.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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