Protestors — and a Giant Baby Trump Balloon — Flood London Streets During Donald Trump's Visit
The president has not been given a warm welcome
“Love Trumps Hate” signs aren’t just reserved for the Women’s March.
Protest signs, pithy chants, and an orange baby blimp took up residence in Trafalgar Square and other high-profile public spaces in London as Britons protested the second day of Donald Trump’s official state visit.
“Donald Trump is coming to Britain for a state visit. Let’s show him what we think of his divisive, hateful policies!” organizers wrote on the “Together Against Trump” Facebook event page.
The main protest started in Trafalgar Square on Tuesday, went on to Theresa May’s residence, at 10 Downing Street, where Trump met the prime minister, before ending in Parliament Square. Over 40,000 people were interested or planned on attending the march, which was one of many scheduled for Trump’s visit.
This is the second time Trump has visited the U.K. to much protest, and the elaborate welcome (and red carpets) he and his family received from the British royal family has upset Britons and Americans alike.
Later that day, the president and his family (including his four grown children) were honored at a state banquet — just hours after Trump mocked the London mayor as a “stone cold loser.”
Protestors throughout London voiced their displeasure of Trump with signs like “Dump Trump,” “Trump: Climate Disaster” “No to Racism,” and “Get Your Hands of My P—.”
Women wearing the red robes of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale were in attendance, as well as people protesting Trump’s policies about women’s rights, climate change, and immigration, and his pro-Brexit stance, according to The Guardian.
While the blow-up Trump has been a central symbol in British protests it also became the target of a lone pro-Trump protestor who videoed herself stabbing the inflatable.
“Did it! That’s a disgrace. It’s a national disgrace,” the unidentified woman said in the video obtained by The Sun. “The President of the United States is the best president ever.”
As she walked away, police intercepted the woman, who appeared to be bleeding.
While the appearance of the gigantic baby Trump balloon has become a trademark of British anti-Trump protests, a group of activists made their own grand gesture by cutting a picture of a huge penis and the words “Oi Trump” near an airport that Trump was scheduled to fly into.
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also participated in the protest — and referenced the attack on London’s mayor.
“Tomorrow’s protest against Donald Trump’s state visit is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country – including, just this morning, @SadiqKhan,” he wrote on Monday.
Meanwhile, Trump denied seeing protestors. On Tuesday, during his speech next to the prime minister, Trump only reflected on the positive welcome he’s received by the royal family and people on the streets.
“It was love, great love,” said Trump, according to CBS News. “I didn’t see the protesters until just a little while ago and it was a very small group of people, so it was fake news.” (Though video of the large street protests debunks this claim.)
Mayor Sadiq Khan vocalized his support of the protestors, telling CNN that they have a right to protest, as long as they do so peacefully.
“They’ll be articulating the concerns we have about the values we both hold dear,” Khan told the outlet on Tuesday. He also thinks Trump’s comments about him are childish.
“This is the sort of behavior I would expect from an 11-year-old,” Khan said, per CNN. “But it’s for him to decide how he behaves. It’s not for me to respond in a like manner. I think it’s beneath me to do childish tweets and name-calling.”
During the interview, Khan explained that Trump has given voice to hard-right views and defended white supremacists, per CNN.
“I think it’s wrong to amplify the tweets form racists in this country as Donald Trump has done so. I think it wrong, by the way, to separate children from their parents on the border,” he said. “I think it’s wrong to ban people from coming to your country because of the faith they belong to. I think it’s wrong to roll back the progress that’s been made on the reproductive rights of women or LGBT+ rights.”