This is How Change Begins

Published: June 17, 2020

By Jim Lichtman
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Apologies. I’m working on a special project that has taken up yesterday and today. “What We Need to Be,” is scheduled for Monday.  

“We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941

Photo: Dylan Martinez – Reuters

As protests against racial and police injustice surge throughout the world, one man epitomized respect and duty. It was Patrick Hutchinson’s quick action that saved a man who was being beaten at a London rally, last Saturday.

While Hutchinson and others representing Black Lives Matter were protesting a counter-protest took place. As anger turned to violence, some members grabbed a white activist and began beating him.

As reported by Britain’s Guardian (June 14), “…the personal trainer and grandfather said: ‘You don’t think about it [being scary] at the time, you just do what you’ve got to do,’ Hutchinson told Channel 4 News in London.”

The Washington Post reported (June 15), that “The British tabloids, even the right-wing ones, called Hutchinson a ‘hero,’ and accolades poured forth on social media from politicians and ordinary folk. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said, ‘Patrick Hutchinson’s instincts at that moment represent the best of us.’ …

“The rescue occurred during rallies in London on Saturday, when Black Lives Matter demonstrators had mostly yielded the streets to avoid clashes with far-right counterprotesters, whom organizers had called out to defend national monuments such as the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square and the Cenotaph memorial near 10 Downing Street, from vandalism. …

“On Saturday, Reuters photographer Dylan Martinez captured the image of Hutchinson emerging from a crowd with the injured man on his shoulder.

“Before he shot that frame, Martinez says, he heard a shout, ‘That’s not what we do!’

“ ‘I saw a skirmish and someone falling to the ground,’ the photographer told his news organization. ‘The crowd parted right in front of me. I was in the right place at the right time, and incredibly lucky from that point of view.’ ”

It was reported that London police arrested more than 100 people.

“Pierre Noah, 47, who works with Hutchinson at Ark Protection, a security company that provides clients with bodyguards, told The Washington Post that the atmosphere on Saturday was ‘terrible.’

“He said there were football hooligans chanting ‘Go back to Africa, you monkeys.’ He said he then noticed that ‘this guy was in danger, and I was able to shield him, and Patrick and another colleague carried him to safety.’

“Noah said, ‘If we didn’t do what we did, who knows what would have happened to him.’

“Both sides ‘need education,’ he said. ‘If you don’t have education, you don’t have common sense.’ ”

“I just want equality, equality for all of us,” Hutchinson told a London reporter.  “At the moment, the scales are unfairly balanced and I just want things to be fair for my children and my grandchildren.”

Hutchinson’s quick action is not only a clear demonstration of responsibility, but concern for the well-being of others, recognizing that each of us has a duty to contribute to the public good.

This is how change begins.


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