U.K. Minister Condemns Far-right “Thuggery” By Violent White Protesters Against Black Lives Matter

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Counter protesters hurled firework at police. Screen capture from The Telegraph video. 

On Saturday reactionary counter protesters to the Black Lives Matter movement clashed with law enforcement personnel in central London. 

Groups that included soccer hooligans, military veterans and the far-right converged on the capital incandescent with rage at images of a very small element of the Black Lives Matter protesters targeting historical monuments and statues.

This group came spoiling for a fight.   They vowed to "defend" the memorials. After weeks of BLM protests in London and small cities and towns across the U.K., it was just a matter of time until counter demonstrations emerge.

Many of the counter demonstrators came from towns and cities hundreds of miles away from the capital. All were mainly white males incensed at images of people of color holding protests in what they consider "their" capital city. A counter protester even threw firework at police.   

Because of a threat of violence, BLM cancelled their original mass demonstrations, instead opting for smaller gatherings at several locations in the capital. There were demonstrations at Hyde Park that were promptly gate-crashed by several hundred counter protesters, resulting in minor scuffles. 

Other locations included Trafalgar Square, which is where most of the violence between the different factions of the demonstrators occurred. There were mass running brawls. Thankfully police were also there in great numbers, and the situation never got out of hand for a sustained period of time. 

There were also members of the far-right and soccer hooligans at Parliament Square "protecting" the monuments including the statue of Winston Churchill. During last weekend’s marches there was an inscription on Winston Churchill's statue that read, “Was a racist." So the statue was boarded up a few days after the protest in anticipation of further vandalism to it during this weekend’s demonstrations. 

Police were involved in several skirmishes where counter demonstrators to BML threw punches, kicks and projectiles at the police who were trying to prevent the rioters from breaking through a police barrier designed to keep the different demonstrating factions apart from each other.   

Far-right groups hurled racial slurs at the anti-racism protesters. In the areas surrounding London's parliament square, scores of people wearing soccer shirts, describing themselves as patriots and chanting "England, England" stood shoulder to shoulder with military veterans to guard the Cenotaph war memorial. 

The far-right groups said they wanted to defend “British culture,” in particular historical monuments after the removal by demonstrators of the statue of Edward Colston, the 17th century trader in enslaved Africans, in Bristol, a town in south west England last weekend.

That incident sparked calls for the removal of statues of other linked to slavery and colonialism.   Professor Sir. Geoff Palmer, Scotland's first Black professor told LBC talk radio that the debate over statues are a diversion and are getting in the way of dealing with real issues faced by Black people today.

The statue of Colston was torn down by protesters last Sunday and thrown in Bristol harbor and has since been recovered by the authorities with plans to reportedly hide it in some museum.  Professor Palmer cautioned that focusing only on statues and ignoring other serious problems facing all Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) groups would be detrimental.

Asked by LBC talk radio interviewer, Nick Ferrari, if a Black person's life today would be improved by the removal of a statue the professor said: "No, I think it's almost a diversion. I would hate for this to say 'well we've taken down a statue, we've responded to all your needs.’ If you remove the evidence, you remove the deed." 

Meanwhile, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary reacted to the counter protest by tweeting: "Thoroughly unacceptable thuggery. Any perpetrator of violence or vandalism should expect to face the full force of the law.

Violence towards our police officers will not be tolerated. Coronavirus remains a threat to us all. Go home to stop the spread of this Virus and save lives." 

Also in a tweet, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, said: "Racist thuggery has no place on our streets. Anyone attacking the police will be met with full force of the law. These marches and protest have been subverted by violence and breach current guidelines. Racism has no part in the UK and we must work together to make that a reality." 

More protest are planned for days ahead and with Coronavirus still very much alive, there is a real risk of a second spike, with social distancing being impossible to observe during these continuing mass demonstrations. 

A plea by the government for people not to attend these rallies are falling on deaf ears.  For news tips reach [email protected]To advertise reach [email protected]Speaking Truth To Power!

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