'Trump baby' balloon flies outside British parliament as big protests expected
A giant inflatable blimp depicting Donald Trump as a pouting baby in a diaper flew outside the British parliament in London on Tuesday ahead of what is expected to be one of the city’s largest protests against a foreign leader.
The six-meter (20 foot) high blimp was raised in Parliament Square at 0900 GMT. It is due to be airborne when Trump holds talks with the outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May nearby in Downing Street.
Trump and his wife Melania arrived on Monday for a three-day state visit – a pomp-laden affair that involved a banquet at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening. Leo Murray, 42, the co-creator of the blimp, said: “We’re trying to remind the president how unwelcome he is in this country.
“We’re also, in a light-hearted way, trying to articulate the strength of feeling against Donald Trump and his politics of hate,” he said. “We want to put a smile on people’s faces as well as make a serious point.”
The blimp, which was first used during Trump’s visit to London last year, rose a few meters off the ground.
In central London, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party will join tens of thousands of protesters in a “Carnival of Resistance” to voice their opposition to the president.
Jeremy Corbyn, who will speak at the rally after snubbing Monday night’s banquet at Buckingham Palace, said it was an “opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country”.
Among those taking part will be environmental activists, anti-racism campaigners and women’s rights protesters. Police will close the road directly outside Downing Street to protect the president and his family.
In Britain, Trump’s ban on travel to the United States from several primarily Muslim countries, the decision to withdraw the United States from a global deal to combat climate change, and his criticism of British politicians have helped stoke opposition to his presidency.
The state dinner held in the president’s honour was boycotted by several lawmakers, including the leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat party as well as Corbyn and other senior Labour figures.
The U.S. president’s supporters said it was an insult to snub the leader of Britain’s closest ally. But the demonstrators have received tactical support from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who has repeatedly clashed with the president and who gave permission to fly the blimp.
The president called the mayor a “stone-cold loser” shortly before he arrived in Britain and has in the past accused him of failing to do enough to stop deadly terror attacks in London.