Protests are continuing in central London as far-right groups face off with police.
But as tensions rise and violent clips emerge, one of the men protesting near Winston Chuchill’s memorial statue has provided a brief moment of levity.
He suggested, in what appears to be total seriousness, that Chuchill “killed Hitler”.
Yes, presumably the same Adolph Hitler who famously shot himself.
In the clip, which was shot by journalist Ruby Lott-Lavigna, the unidentified man can be seen wearing a Union Jack face covering round his neck. He's standing next to someone carrying an "All Lives Matter" placard.
We're here to say it's wrong to desecrate the statue of Winston Churchill because he killed Hitler. He Killed Hitler
The people who are attacking the man who killed Hitler are crazy because Hitler killed the people who wanted to kill them.
Of course Chuchill’s role in defeating Hitler at war can’t be understated, and it’s certainly not ridiculous to assume his loss might have been connected to his decision to shoot himself. But for the avoidance of doubt Churchill definitely didn’t “kill” Hitler.
i’m at the far right gathering in parliament square where a man in union jack face mask defends the churchill statu… https://t.co/yz4HgEXve3
The footage emerges as far-right protesters take to the streets of London, supposedly in opposition to statues of slave traders being forcibly removed and against London’s Winston Churchill statue being defaced last weekend.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan had warned Black Lives Matter protesters, who were planning a second weekend of protests, that the far-right were planning to “hijack” the occasion by staging counter protests. Shortly after this warning, official Black Lives Matter protests were called off as "All Lives Matter" protesters confirmed plans to stage large counter-protests against them.
Despite the fact that BLM protests were called off, the far-right counter-protests have gone ahead anyway under the guise of "protecting" statues (which are now boarded up anyway, for protection) from the now non-existent anti-racist protesters.
Onlookers have said that the far-right protesters – who are overwhelmingly white and male – have become increasingly loud and belligerent, with many appearing to have consumed large amounts of alcohol. There have been reports of violence against police, members of the public and even each other. A photographer was allegedly assaulted and there are videos of bottles being thrown at police as well as xenophobic chanting.