Expect to see a 20-foot balloon of an angry, orange, diaper-clad baby that resembles Donald Trump soar over the British Parliament Square on July 13—the day of the U.S. president’s visit to the U.K.’s capital.
The blimp, dubbed “Trump Baby,” was approved by none other than London Mayor Sadiq Khan himself after a crowdsourcing campaign amassed over $20,000 and 10,000 signatures in favor of the stunt.
Set to fly above Parliament Square Gardens between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., coinciding with a “Stop Trump” march held in the city center, the balloon is required to hover a maximum of 98 feet above ground, tethered by a rope.
“The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms,” a spokesperson for Mayor Khan said. “Sadiq’s main priority is the safety of all Londoners and visitors to our city, and, as always, we are working in very close coordination with the Metropolitan Police and other key agencies to ensure all protests are carried out safely and securely.”
Though originally reluctant, the mayor’s office green-lit the protest balloon—conceived by the self-identified, anti-fascist “art activists” group—after an outburst of public support.
“We didn’t get off to the best start with the Mayor’s office over this, who originally told us that they didn’t recognise Trump Baby as legitimate protest,” activist Leo Murray told Sky News, “But […] it looks like City Hall has rediscovered its sense of humour. Trump Baby will fly!” he said.
The Metropolitan Police will be in charge of local airspace safety, agreeing to let the flight take place while reserving the right to cancel it the day-of for any reason. The campaigners are currently cooperating with the police force and Civil Aviation Authority in order to avoid safety risks surrounding the blimp launch.
The move could potentially heighten pre-existing tensions between President Trump and Kahn. Kahn, the first Muslim mayor of any Western capital, staunchly disapproved of Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and his decision to issue a travel ban against Muslim-majority countries.
In an interview with CNN last year, the London official said, “At a time when the President of the USA has policies that many in our country disagree with, I am not sure it is appropriate for our government to roll out the red carpet.”
Meanwhile, Trump heavily criticized Kahn’s handling of the June 2017 London Bridge terrorist attack, saying “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. MSM [mainstream media] is working hard to sell it!”
Last year, over 1.8 million individuals signed an online petition seeking to cancel or downgrade Trump’s state visit to the U.K., a request which was ultimately rebuffed by the British government.