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News > World

UK: Mass Protests to Greet 'Human Rights Nightmare' Donald Trump During Official Visit

  • People inflate a helium filled Donald Trump blimp which they hope to deploy during The President of the United States' upcoming visit, in London

    People inflate a helium filled Donald Trump blimp which they hope to deploy during The President of the United States' upcoming visit, in London | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 July 2018

A Trump "Giant Baby" balloon has been given permission to fly over central London during the U.S. president's visit to the United Kingdom.

Mass protests are expected to greet the U.S. President, Donald Trump on his visit to the U.K. as he begins his official four-day tour Thursday. 

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According to the Guardian, shortly after Trump landed Thursday, the Amnesty UK unfurled "Donald Trump: Human Rights Nightmare" on Vauxhall Bridge, opposite the U.S. Embassy. 

Just two days before Trump's arrival, a dozen organizers and members of parliament accused the British police of "curtailing the right to protest and putting the health and safety of demonstrators in jeopardy" by denying groups permission to set up a stage and sound system at the main protest assembly point in London, the Common Dreams website reported. 

"Friday will witness one of the biggest and most vibrant demonstrations in recent British history," the organizers and lawmakers declared in an open letter Wednesday. "While it is reasonable for the police to put in place measures for safety, it would be unprecedented for such a major demonstration to be denied permission for a stage."

Ahead of the visit as Trump was preparing to leave the NATO summit, he said the U.K. was in turmoil. Trump also refrained from openly endorsing U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership but praised the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who resigned Monday in protest at the Brexit deal May presented to the cabinet over the weekend for being "weak".

He had earlier mentioned that he would be popular in the U.K. for his stance on migration. "They like me a lot in the UK. I think they agree with me on immigration," Trump said. "You see what's going on throughout the world with immigration... I think that's why Brexit happened."

"I would say Brexit is Brexit," he added. "The people voted to break it up so I imagine that is what they would do, but maybe they’re taking a different route. I’m not sure that’s what they voted for."  

Trump's itinerary includes meeting with May, tea with the Queen, along with other diplomats.  The U.S. president is expected to attend a formal dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire with the business leaders, along with the senior members of the cabinet. 

On Friday, he will join May for a counter-terrorism demonstration by U.K. and U.S. special forces, before the main business element of his trip: talks with May and the new foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, at the PM’s Chequers country retreat, including a working lunch.  

Later, Trump and his wife, Melania, will spend some of her time on separate engagements with May’s husband, Philip, will have tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle, the Guardian reported.  

The US president' four-day visit is expected to cost the taxpayers with a police and security bill of up over US$10 million, the Telegraph has reported.   The police officers overseeing Trump's trip to the U.K. are being forced to sleep in unacceptable conditions worse than cells. 

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The shadow policing minister, Labour MP Louise Haigh, said, "It has emerged that officers being accommodated in Essex are sleeping on cots in squash courts, 100 female officers with four toilets between them, likely to be sleeping on mats tonight, 300 male officers with five toilets between them. Is it any wonder that forces struggle to fill their requirements?" the Guardian reported.  

A Trump Baby balloon has been given permission to fly over central London during the US president's visit to the UK after police in Scotland refused a request for the 6m (20ft) high balloon to also take to the skies over the golf course.

In Scotland, nearly 8,000 people had signed a petition to be allowed to fly the giant Trump baby ballon over the Turnberry course where the U.S. president is expected to play golf Saturday.  

Leo Murray, an environmental campaigner, leading the protest, told the Guardian, “People in Scotland are past masters when it comes to protesting against Trump. So naturally, they have insisted we bring Trump Baby up from London to fly over his golf course, in solidarity with their struggle against Trump’s hateful politics. We have been delighted to accept their invitation." 

Scottish leaders of the Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens, Richard Leonard and Patrick Harvie, also issued a joint statement urging the Scottish government to prevent the U.S. president landing at Prestwick airport. 

“Donald Trump is not welcome here. The horrific scenes at the Mexican border are a repudiation of decent human values. Caging children like animals is barbaric. We cannot roll out the red carpet for a US president that treats human beings this way," the statement noted. 

“From his disgraceful equating of anti-fascist campaigners with Nazis in Charlottesville, his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, to his Islamophobic travel ban and his misogyny Donald Trump has demonstrated that he should be denied any kind of welcome.”

Further adding, “The Scottish government owns Prestwick airport. We believe that this publicly-owned facility should not be used for Donald Trump’s visit. We urge that the Scottish government rules out any use of Prestwick by the president or his entourage, and so send the most powerful message possible that Donald Trump is not welcome in Scotland." 

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