LONDON: Tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated in London on Friday against US President Donald Trump, whose four-day visit to Britain has been marred by his extraordinary attack on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy.
“#DumpTrump”, “This is the carnival of resistance” and “My mum doesn’t like you! And she likes everyone” read some of the signs held up by protesters as they marched down Oxford Street towards Trafalgar Square.
“No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!”, the protesters chanted.
Some protesters banged on pots and pans, others blew on trumpets and many held up orange “Stop Trump” balloons.
One woman wore a pink knitted “pussy hat” at the start of the “Women’s March”, which will be followed later in the day by the main “Together Against Trump” coalition.
“Donald Trump is misogynistic, chauvinistic, homophobic, xenophobic, promotes bigotry… and has tiny little hands!”, said one of the participants, 42-year-old Georgina Rose.
Grant White, 32, carried a sign depicting Trump as the Twitter bird symbol wearing a swastika around his arm.
“I am anti-Brexit, anti-Trump. There is a wave of fascism which we have to get rid of,” he said.
Stopping outside May’s residence in Downing Street, protesters whistled and shouted: “Shame on you!”
May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump since his inauguration last year and extended an invitation for him to visit that proved highly controversial.
– ‘A juvenile in charge of a superpower’ –
Around 20 drag artists joined the protest, starting out from Soho — the historic heart of Britain’s gay community — in flamboyantly colourful attire.
“I think he’s just such a poor representation of what America has to give to the world,” said Joey “Bourgeoisie” Frenette, 27, who moved to Britain eight years ago from Washington DC.
Decked out in chunky heels and fishnet stockings, a purple tinsel wig, pink lipstick and a dyed green moustache, he added he felt compelled to protest after seeing images of caged children in the US as a result of Trump’s immigration policies.
Choreographer Joshua Hubbard was strutting his displeasure at the president in knee-high red boots, a cravat and plenty of facial make-up.
“He’s perpetuated so many stigmas,” he said as he marched.
Londoners not protesting and stopping to take in the mass of people, placards and sloganeering seemed supportive of the demonstrations.
“He brings it on himself — it’s like having a juvenile in charge of a superpower,” said construction worker Dan Kelly, 47.
– Trump inflatable ‘hilarious’ –
Dawn, 49, came with her 11-year-old daughter Sadie.
“Trump is the man with the biggest ego in charge of the biggest power in the world. He doesn’t have a grasp of what is needed in the world,” the mother said.
Her daughter said: “He doesn’t accept people who have a different religion in his country, where there is big diversity.”
Campaigners elsewhere in London flew a “Baby Trump” balloon, an act of protest approved by London mayor Sadiq Khan which has proved particularly contentious for Trump and his supporters.
“As an American, I think it’s great. It’s a peaceful way of protesting and there are a lot of people who agree with it,” said Brett Kirchner, 25, from the US state of North Carolina.
“Back home in the States, there will be some who are very upset about this protest and who think it’s insulting. I have been asked to send photos back though. Not everyone likes Trump,” he said.
Jason Caines, 50, said of the inflatable: “It’s good. It needs to be done because he’s a bigot and a racist. He shouldn’t be president, it should have been Hillary Clinton.”
Paul Fonseca, 23, said: “I think it’s hilarious. It’s an accurate representation of his politics which are so immature. He never enters into adult discussion.” —AFP