June 15, 2020 / 5:34 PM / 21 days ago

"It was the right thing to do", says man in London anti-racism picture

A protester carries an injured counter-protester to safety, near the Waterloo station during a Black Lives Matter protest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, in London, Britain, June 13, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) - Patrick Hutchinson, a black protester who carried a white man to safety during a scuffle in London between anti-racism protesters and far-right opponents said it was simply the right thing to do.

A Reuters photograph of Hutchinson emerging from the melee near Waterloo Bridge, carrying an injured man in a fireman’s lift over his shoulder, went viral on social media and featured in news bulletins.

“It was the right thing to do,” Hutchinson told Reuters TV on Monday. “We didn’t want the narrative changed and the focus taken away from what we are all fighting for, and that’s true equality.”

Britain, like many countries around the world, has seen a surge of anti-racism demonstrations in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. They have mostly been peaceful, but on Saturday far-right counter-protesters converged on central London and skirmishes took place.

Hutchinson said peaceful anti-racism demonstrations needed to continue in Britain.

“We have to continue to protest. We have to continue to march. Our voices need to be heard. We must get true equality but violence is unnecessary,” he said.

The man carried by Hutchinson had injuries to his face, and Reuters reporters at the scene said he had been beaten in a skirmish with anti-racism protesters.

Some people in the crowd shouted out that the injured man was a member of the far right, but there has been no official confirmation of his identity or political affiliation.

Reporting by Ben Dangerfield and Natalie Thomas; writing by Costas Pitas, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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