London: BLM Supporters Mob and Seriously Assault People Suspected of Being ‘Far Right’

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Black Lives Matter supporters have seriously assaulted a number of people suspected of being “far-right” in London.

The day’s protests saw Black Lives Matter supporters take to the capital’s streets in reduced numbers after some organisers attempted to call off planned demonstrations, along with counter-protesters including veterans, football fans, and some far-right elements, intending to prevent the vandalisation of historic statues and war memorials which has characterised previous BLM demonstrations.

Police, who at previous protests were seen kneeling to BLM supporters, fleeing from violent mobs, and failing to protect monuments such as Churchill’s statue and the Cenotaph war memorial, adopted a far more robust approach towards these counter-protesters, manning metal barricades in full riot gear including helmets, shields, and clubs to restrict their movements.

BLM

A fight takes place near Waterloo Station as protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement clash with opponents in central London on June 13, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

 

BLM

A fight takes place near Waterloo Station as protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement clash with opponents in central London on June 13, 2020 (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

 

BLM

Fights take place near Waterloo Station as protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement clash with opponents in central London on June 13, 2020 (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel also stepped up their game, with Johnson quick to condemn the “racist thuggery” of some counter-protesters who attacked the police at their barricades and chanted “where the f*** were you last week” at them elsewhere.

Johnson’s responses had previously been slow, sparse, and couched in conciliatory terms; for example when he conceded that Churchill “sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable” after vandals defaced his statue with graffiti branding him “racist”.

The Home Secretary, too, was quick to retweet footage of some counter-protesters behaving violently, and to single out an incident in which an individual urinated next to the small marker commemorating PC Keith Palmer, who was killed outside the Palace of Westminster by an Islamist terrorist — particularly egregious, given counter-protesters were supposed to be in the city to defend memorials.

This incident was also picked up by the mainstream media and given much prominence — unlike similarly appalling incidents at previous protests, such as a BLM supporter attempting to burn the Union Flag adorning the Cenotaph, or a police officer appeared to throw up a fist in solidarity with a group of BLM protesters carrying a placard which said “F*** Madeleine McCann”.

Despite the poor behaviour of some of the counter-protesters, which has led to some arrests but — so far — few reported police injuries, little-acknowledged incidents of violence by BLM supporters also took place once again, particularly after 5 p.m. when people began to head home.

Photographs and video show BLM supporters throwing projectiles at police lines near Trafalgar Square and ultimately punching through them, and on several occasions descending on individuals suspected of being “far-right”, including some said to have had nothing to do with the protests.

In contrast with its coverage of previous demonstrations, characterised as “largely peaceful” despite widespread vandalisation and police officers being injured in significant numbers, the mainstream media has put the violence perpetrated by a minority of the counter-demonstrators front and centre in its coverage.

Some among the counter-protesters did little to build bridges with the media, however, as, despite some positive interactions, such as a short interview on Sky News with a counter-protester who was picking up rubbish discarded by less orderly attendees, there was an attitude of general hostility towards journalists, with one reporter reportedly having his nose broken.

Fights take place in Trafalgar Square as protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement clash with opponents in central London on June 13, 2020 (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Paramedics help an injured man as clashes with protesters take place in central London on June 13, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

 

An injured man is taken away by police after fights take place in Trafalgar Square as protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement clash with opponents in central London on June 13, 2020 (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Police help an injured man as clashes with protesters take place in central London on June 13, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

 

A group of men carry an injured man away after he was allegedly attacked by some of the crowd of protesters on the Southbank near Waterloo station on June 13, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)

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