Friday 23 August 2019

Tower of London projection among protests against Donald Trump’s state visit

Amnesty International unfurled banners in front of the US embassy while permission has been given for a baby blimp to fly over the capital on Tuesday.

(Led By Donkeys/@ByDonkeys/PA)
(Led By Donkeys/@ByDonkeys/PA)

By Emily Chudy, Press Association

A projection of Donald Trump’s UK approval rating on the Tower of London was part of protests against the US President’s state visit on Monday.

The stunt was organised by anti-Brexit protest group Led By Donkeys and featured YouGov figures of Donald Trump’s UK approval rating (21%) compared to Barack Obama’s (72%).

Organisers confirmed the projection went up in the early hours of Monday and was displayed for around an hour.

As Mr Trump began his three-day state visit to the UK, a security operation came into force to prepare for protesters demonstrating in London.

On Monday, banners were unfurled by Amnesty International in front of the US embassy in London.

The five banners on Vauxhall Bridge read “resist sexism”, “resist racism”, “resist hate”, “resist cruelty” and “resist Trump”.

Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK director, said: “We need to strongly resist Donald Trump’s trashing of human rights and it was important to put this message right in front of the US embassy itself.

“We want Downing Street to show far greater resolve in standing up for human rights principles with this reckless administration.”

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(Stefan Rousseau/PA Images)

Several protest groups plan to march through London during the President’s three-day visit, with the main demonstration due to convene at Trafalgar Square at 11am on Tuesday.

Scotland Yard placed streets surrounding Buckingham Palace and Downing Street in lockdown, with around 10,000 police officers deployed in the capital in a £25 million operation.

A section of Whitehall will be closed on Tuesday for security reasons.

Around 250,000 anti-Trump activists gathered when Mr Trump flew into the UK on July 13 2018 for his first visit as US president.

It is not expected protests on Tuesday will reach that size.

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(Kirsty O’Connor/PA Images)

During Tuesday’s demonstration, organisers have been given permission by the Greater London Authority – headed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan – to fly a large inflatable nappy-wearing Donald Trump baby blimp over the city.

Organisers plan to fly the blimp, which depicts Mr Trump wearing a nappy and clutching a mobile phone, over Parliament Square on Tuesday, the second day of the state visit.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn will join thousands of protesters on the streets of London on Tuesday, with the Labour leader expected to speak as the US President meets Prime Minister Theresa May for talks.

Mr Corbyn said the protest was “an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country”.

The Labour leader’s attendance at the rally follows his decision to boycott Monday night’s state banquet.

Earlier on Monday, Mr Trump received a formal ceremonial welcome to the UK, followed by lunch at Buckingham Palace with senior royals.

He then visited Westminster Abbey and attended tea at Clarence House with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Ahead of his royal engagements, the President tweeted about China, CNN, and the Mayor of London.

He said: “Sadiq Khan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom.

“He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me.”

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