'Together Against Trump', thousands protest in London

'Together Against Trump', thousands protest in London

By Andrew MacAskill and Jamillah Knowles

LONDON (Reuters) - Chanting "Donald Trump has got to go," tens of thousands of protesters marched through London on Friday waving banners and banging pots to demonstrate against the U.S. president on his first official visit to Britain.

Under a brilliant blue sky, demonstrators streamed through central London's main streets carrying placards saying "Dump Trump" and "Keep your tiny hands off women's rights". Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was among the throng.

Organisers said 250,000 people were protesting in London and other demonstrations were expected in cities around the country, including Windsor where the U.S. President was due to have tea with Queen Elizabeth.

"Lock him in the tower," one homemade placard said there, just yards from where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in May.

Police, who declined to put a number on the size of the demonstration, had sealed off parts of London including Piccadilly and Regent Street for marchers, while thousands filled Trafalgar Square to hear speeches.

"Trump is not welcome in Britain," said Grish Gregoran, 58, a shopkeeper who took the day off to attend the protests.

"We wanted to embarrass him and I think we have done that today. We know how sensitive he is. It is horrible to hear the inflammatory language that he uses and I am embarrassed that (Prime Minister) Theresa May has done so much to welcome him."

"DUMP TRUMP"

London regards its "special relationship" with the United States as a keystone of foreign policy and May has courted Trump ahead of Britain's departure from the European Union.

But some Britons see the U.S. leader as crude, volatile, unreliable and opposed to their values on a range of issues. Those demonstrating against Trump included women's rights campaigners, supporters of immigration and LGBT groups.

"Here, queer and angry," said one banner. "Immigration is not a crime," said another.

"Our message to our government and our prime minister is: 'We don't want a special relationship with bigots'", Len McCluskey, the head of the country's biggest trade union, told Reuters.

Activists kicked off the demonstrations on Friday by floating a six-metre-high (20-ft) blimp outside parliament depicting the U.S. president as a snarling orange baby.

Trump told the Sun newspaper he was avoiding the capital as much as possible.

"I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, (there is) no reason for me to go to London," he said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has clashed repeatedly with Trump on Twitter, defended the demonstrations as free speech. He said pro-Trump supporters would march on Saturday and some were present on Friday, kept away from the main demonstration by the police.

"The idea that we restrict freedom of speech, the right to assemble, the right to protest because somebody might be offended is a slippery slope," Khan told BBC Radio.

(Writing by Kate Holton; additional reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Robin Pomeroy)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


Updated Date: Jul 14, 2018 00:06 AM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See