Patrick Hutchinson Is Turning His Moment Into A Movement After His Rescue At London Protest

A Black Lives Matter protester lifted a bleeding counter-protester to the police in a ‘fireman’s lift’ in the middle of competing protests in London over the weekend.   Patrick Hutchinson, an anti-racism protester, spoke to British media about the background behind the photo and why he stepped in to bring the guy to safety.  

So, what actually happened?  

Hundreds of protestors from far-right groups and the Black Lives Matter movement gathered in London over the weekend for separate demonstrations.  While some far-right protestors attempted to break past police lines with metal crash barriers, officers were punched, kicked, and assaulted with bottles. Police also fired tear gas on crowds.  

The image that went viral:  

A Reuters photographer caught a glimpse of humanity in the midst of the chaos, showing one guy bravely carrying another through the crowd.   “I observed a skirmish and someone falling to the ground,” photographer Dylan Martinez said of the incident near London’s Waterloo Bridge.  

“Through the crowd, the two guys appeared. The crowd parted right in front of me. The photographer explained to CNN, “I was at the right place at the right moment, and I consider myself fortunate in that regard. He approached me quickly on foot.”  

Who is this mysterious individual?  

Patrick Hutchinson, a personal trainer, and grandpa were quickly identified as the guy who lifted the protester. Mr. Hutchinson has now talked to different news channels in the United Kingdom about his choice to attend the protests and the events that led up to the photograph.  

“I was at home looking after my grandchildren, and my friend said: ‘We’ve gotta go and protect the women and the children and stop these young guys from getting in any trouble’.”  Hutchinson said.

Despite warnings to stay away, the 50-year-old father and grandfather of three say that he and four friends specifically went to central London that day “just in case”. They had lived through what he describes as “senseless white rage” before. “We knew how aggressive it could be. We knew we had to be there to protect vulnerable Black Lives Matter protesters and to protect our black boys from harm.”

The backstory to the image:  

When the protests turned violent, Mr. Hutchinson described it as a “scary” situation.   Hutchinson found a White man, Bryn Male, injured and lying in the fetal position. Then, as an athletic coach and personal trainer, he picked the man up, put him over his shoulder, and carried him through the crowd to safety.  

“It was pretty hectic; it was almost like a stampede,” he said. “It looks as though the hooligans got dispersed, leaving one man standing, and unfortunately for him, everybody set upon him.  

“I didn’t see color,” Hutchinson told CNN. “I just saw somebody who needed help.”

“While they did that, I just thought, ‘well, if he stays here, he’s not going to make it, so I just went under, scooped him up, put him over my shoulders, and sort of started marching towards the police with him, while all the guys were surrounding me and protecting the guy I had on my shoulder and me. “I could actually feel strikes and hits as I was carrying him,”  Hutchinson told CNN.

His main thought at the time, he added, was to get the man to safety.   Hutchinson’s photo became viral overnight, and demands for interviews poured in. He featured on numerous major news channels in the days and weeks ahead and Vogue magazine, and the cover of Men’s Health.   Hutchison was nominated a GQ Hero and received a humanitarian award. Even Michelle Obama wrote a message on her Instagram. It hasn’t stopped, and it’s still going.”   Hutchinson has written and published a book called “Everyone Versus Racism: A Letter to My Children,” and recently, he, among his three friends who were with him last June, started a group called UTCAI, which stands for United to Change and Inspire.  

According to Hutchison, they set up this platform to change the community for the young people who need support and help. But, he said, don’t stand to watch certain things unfold when you know you can do something about it.  

 

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