A Black Lives Matter supporter carrying an alleged far-right demonstrator to safety amid violence in London has said he “didn’t even think twice about doing it”.
The photo of Patrick Hutchinson lifting the injured white man away from a melee on Saturday has been shared widely online, with Labour MP Florence Eshalomi calling the image a “powerful symbol” amid a weekend of division and confrontation between right-wing protesters and anti-racism activists in the capital.
Mr Hutchinson told ITV News: “I didn’t even think twice about doing it, it was just an instinct. I didn’t see colour I just saw a human being on the floor possibly coming to his end.”
A grandfather and personal trainer, Mr Hutchinson said he attended the event with his friends, a group of security and martial arts experts, to protect anti-racist activists on a march through the capital.
It came as groups of football hooligans and far-right supporters took to the streets in response to recent Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
In a separate interview with Channel 4 News, Mr Hutchinson said: “If the other three police officers who were standing around when George Floyd was murdered had thought about intervening like what we did, George Floyd would be alive today.”
He added: “I just want equality – equality for all of us. At the moment the scales are unfairly balanced and i just want things to be fair – for my children and my grandchildren.”
Mr Hutchinson’s intervention came on the way home following the protest, when he saw far-right protestors who earlier had been concentrated in London’s Parliament Square clashing with a group of young black men. As Mr Hutchinson carried the injured man away, his friends worked to hold back the crowd.
His friend Jamaine Facey, a personal trainer who was among the group, said: “For me I wasn’t protecting him – I was protecting our kids. I was protecting their future because I knew the judge would not have seen what happened before. I was saving our kids future”.
Police made more than 100 arrests across the course of the day, as 27 people including six officers were injured during clashes.