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A Bearded "Hipster Cop" From The Protests In London Has Become A Huge Meme

This policeman's moustache has got Twitter going.

Police took to the streets in London yesterday when an English Defense League march clashed with anti-fascist protesters in Walthamstow.

#walthamstow residents telling the EDL where to stuff it, like #walthamstow told the nazis to stuff it 70 yrs ago.

One policeman in particular has caught the internet's attention...

Guy Smallman / eyevine.com

I know that hipsters like looking uncool but this is ridiculous! #riotpolice #walthamstow #hipstercop #fecalbeard

The meme began when photojournalist, Guy Smallman, who was documenting yesterday's protest, tweeted this picture.

Alongside discussion of the police clash with protesters, Twitter has taken a moment to joke about this officer's hipster appearance.

He was into kettling before it was cool.

Thanks to his extravagant beard and moustache, he has been named #hipstercop.

I say. Do you slander me with the epithet "fascist pig"? Fie and folly. You, sir, are a poltroon. Have at you, sir.

Using the #hipstercop hashtag people are matching his picture to typical hipster tropes.

'Only three more protestors to batter and I can go to the cereal cafe'

'I bought my baton from a little shop in Hoxton. It's late Victorian'

Captions have drawn attention to various popular hipster stereotypes.

I liked beating on protesters before it was cool. Now it's all commercial. #hipstercop

The hipster love of DIY has been highlighted.

" I make my own pepper spray it's more authentic than the off the shelf variety" #Hipstercop

"Yeah, I play the washboard in the police band. We're called Miranda and the Wrights." #HipsterCop

Hipster food trends have been given the police treatment.

#HIPSTERCOP Gets his vegan donuts from @Ocado and eats them on a blanket in the park.

"Tell you what Colin, I could murder a soya flat white"

But mostly people have enjoyed laughing at the hipster's love of the obscure.

"You wouldn't know my favourite riot it's too obscure."

"I'm arresting you on some charges, they are really obscure and you've probably never heard of them". #hipstercop

"Hipster Cop" is taking the meme in good humour.

I'm standing next to #HipsterCop right now, having a good old chuckle at some of the captions.

The Mail Online has named "Hipster Cop" as Peter Swinger.

It seems that he's not much of a hipster at all, but instead a father-of-three and ex-soldier who likes to listen to Meatloaf.

Swinger is said to be amused by his new-found internet celebrity after becoming a meme this weekend.

I guess some have been waiting for it, so here it is, the #HipsterCop #Selfie

His colleague, Sgt Nathan Shickle, who was out with Swinger when the original "Hipster Cop" picture was taken has also shared his amusement over the incident, as well as posting this selfie with the man himself on Sunday evening.

Shickle also joked that this isn't the first time Swinger has graced the internet with his presence, sharing this Instagram of a pre-meme "Hipster Cop" from last year's Notting Hill Carnival.

"Hipster Cop" was present at the English Defense League march in Walthamstow. A previous version of this story misstated that he was present at the anti-Tory protests in Downing Street.

Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Laura Silver at laura.silver@buzzfeed.com.

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