Donald Trump UK visit: London mayor gives nod to Trump's 'angry baby' balloon

Campaign groups and trade unions are organising a full schedule of protests to greet Trump when he lands on July 13 and the six-metre 'angry baby' balloon is to fly over Parliament Square.

Published: 06th July 2018 09:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th July 2018 09:43 PM   |  A+A-

Donald Trump (Photo | AP)


LONDON: The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has given the go-ahead for a giant helium-filled "angry baby" balloon of Donald Trump to fly over the British capital during the US President's first official visit to the UK next week.

Campaign groups and trade unions are organising a full schedule of protests to greet Trump when he lands on July 13 and the six-metre balloon to fly over Parliament Square here is expected to be the centrepiece.

Protesters are also planning a "Stop Trump" march through central London on the same day.

"He is a deeply insecure man, and that is the only leverage we have over him. If we want his attention, we have to do something that humiliates him," said Leo Murray, an environmental campaigner behind the crowd-funded balloon stunt.

He described the inflatable "blimp" as an "obscene mutant clone of the President" and says it will "hold up a huge mirror of truth" to the world.

"We want to make sure he knows that all of Britain is looking down on him and laughing at him," Murray said.

More than 10,000 people had signed a petition calling for the inflatable to be given permission to fly and campaigners raised over 16,000 pounds to pay for the giant balloon, which they said reflects the US President's character as an "angry baby with a fragile ego and tiny hands".

"Frankly it's embarrassing. It's embarrassing for the people flying it, for the British residents of London and for people in the UK. I don't think it will bother him," said a spokesperson for Republicans Overseas, a representative group for US' Republican party supporting Americans based overseas.

Under the plans, the balloon will be allowed to fly for two hours on the morning of July 13 as Trump heads for his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street, using nearby Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: "The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms."

His city operations team have met with the organisers and given them permission to use Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point for the blimp.

Pakistani-origin Khan and Trump have repeatedly clashed on Twitter, over terrorism and crime, including in the aftermath of the London Bridge attack.

However, before the balloon can take off on the day, campaigners also need permission from the National Air Traffic Service and Scotland Yard.

The group behind the stunt, branding themselves as anti-fascist "Art Activists", are now liaising with the Metropolitan Police and Civil Aviation Authority to ensure airspace over London is managed safely on the day.

Activists also hope to take "Trump Baby" on a world tour following the presidential visit.

A counter-protest, which aims to fund a "Sadiq Khan baby balloon", has also reportedly received around 10,000 pounds of support.

Other protests, being promoted on social media, are being organised by a coalition called 'Together Against Trump', which brings together a series of trade union and environment groups.

During his short visit to the UK, Trump is also due to meet Queen Elizabeth II, most likely at Windsor Castle which is miles outside London.

He is then expected to head to Scotland, the birthplace of his mother and where he owns two golf courses.

London-style demonstrations are also being planned in the Scottish cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

"We regard it as a victory that Donald Trump does not appear to have any official engagements in London or anywhere with a large population. Instead, he will stay hidden away in country estates and castles," said a spokesperson for Together Against Trump.

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