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Donald Trump protesters plan to fly baby blimp again to disrupt US president’s state visit next week


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The team behind a huge Donald Trump baby blimp is ‘confident’ of being granted permission to fly the effigy again during the US president’s upcoming state visit, which will require 10,000 police officers deployed on Britain’s streets.

The phone-wielding, nappy-wearing inflatable could return to London on Tuesday – alongside a new effigy of Trump sitting on a gold toilet –  as thousands plan to march in protest against the visit. 

Mr Trump will spend three days in the UK on a trip that includes lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace and meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May.

A huge police and security operation will be in place, with the Metropolitan Police saying it had ‘a very experienced command team’ leading the operation as the force geared up to deal with the visit itself and expected protests.

Last year, almost 10,000 officers were deployed for Mr Trump’s trip to the UK, with nearly every force in the country providing staff to support the operation.

During the state visit, which begins on June 3, protesters are again hoping to fly the Donald Trump blimp, which depicts the American leader as a baby.

A 16ft talking robot of Mr Trump sitting on a gold toilet is also expected to make an appearance. 

The 6m tall baby blimp of Donald Trump was flown as a protest against his visit last year

Today workers in cherry pickers installed Union Jack flags along the length of the Mall in preparation for the visit.

Today workers in cherry pickers installed Union Jack flags along the length of the Mall in preparation for the visit.

Today workers in cherry pickers installed Union Jack flags along the length of the Mall in preparation for the visit.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are escorted by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako prior to their meeting at the Japanese Imperial Palace this week

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are escorted by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako prior to their meeting at the Japanese Imperial Palace this week

 Today workers in cherry pickers installed Union Jack flags along the length of the Mall in preparation for the visit.

The blimp made its first appearance in July last year during his previous working visit, which also sparked mass protests.

Organisers have applied for permission to fly the blimp at Parliament Square on Tuesday and the Greater London Authority has confirmed it is reviewing the request.

It is understood the decision will be made jointly with the Metropolitan Police.

But the blimp, part of the Stop Trump coalition group, will only be unleashed if a fundraising page for charities ‘pushing back against the politics of hate and division’ hits £30,000.

At lunch time on Thursday, 532 people had donated a total of £16,695.

Organiser Kevin Smith said: ‘We will only fly the baby if we hit the target.

‘I don’t think it’s a done deal but we will definitely be pushing it over the coming days.’

Mr Trump’s schedule for Tuesday includes a business breakfast at St James’s Palace with Mrs May and senior business leaders from the US and UK.

He will then visit Downing Street, before hosting a dinner at the residence of the US ambassador when he will be joined by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

A giant robot of Donald Trump sitting on a gold toilet is on its way to the UK after being shipped from China for protests against the US president's state visit

A giant robot of Donald Trump sitting on a gold toilet is on its way to the UK after being shipped from China for protests against the US president’s state visit

President Donald Trump will be greeted by two 41-gun salutes when he arrives to meet the Queen on Monday for the first day of his state visit to Britain (pictured, the two heads of state at Windsor Castle last year)

President Donald Trump will be greeted by two 41-gun salutes when he arrives to meet the Queen on Monday for the first day of his state visit to Britain (pictured, the two heads of state at Windsor Castle last year)

Throughout Mr Trump's visit he will be accompanied by a motorcade and the official helicopter, Marine One, the U.S. embassy said (pictured, the President boards the helicopter in Washington last year)

Throughout Mr Trump’s visit he will be accompanied by a motorcade and the official helicopter, Marine One, the U.S. embassy said (pictured, the President boards the helicopter in Washington last year)

President Trump’s plans for his state visit to the UK

US President Donald Trump, joined by his wife Melania, will make a state visit to the UK next week, staying for three days.

He will be greeted at Buckingham Palace gardens but not stay in the Palace due to building work. He will meet members of the royal family including the Queen, Charles and Camilla, William and Kate and Harry and Meghan; and meet outgoing PM Theresa May. 

The visit will take place between Monday 3 and Wednesday 5 June.

At the Palace he and his wife Melania will receive a formal ceremonial welcome, including a guard of honour by Nijmegen Company the Grenadier Guards.

After inspecting the guard with Prince Charles, Mr Trump will hold a private lunch with the Queen before a state banquet on Monday evening – which some Trump opponents including Jeremy Corbyn will not attend.  

Mr Trump and his wife will be guests of the Queen to attend a ceremony on 5 June in Portsmouth to mark 75 years since the D-Day landings, and the couple will then travel to Ireland and on to France the next day for an international commemoration on the beaches of Normandy.

He may speak in Parliament during the trip, although Commons speaker John Bercow has previously said he would be ‘strongly opposed to such a visit.

The exact details and itinerary of the trip are a closely guarded secret for security reasons – and the President may also be mindful of the large protests and the ‘Trump Baby’ inflatable which greeted his last trip to London, last year.

Mr Smith added: ‘We’re in the process of applying for permission at the moment and that’s a mixture of talking to the police and the Greater London Authority, and we’re applying for essentially the same permit as what we had last time.’

The blimp is currently stored in a ‘suitcase in Kentish Town’ and organisers are ‘presuming’ permission will be given, Mr Smith said.

A spokesman for the Greater London Authority said a decision will be made in ‘due course’.

Meanwhile, Facebook event pages promoting separate protest marches have drawn interest from tens of thousands of people.

The listing for one event, co-ordinated by 16 groups and individuals including Momentum and the Stop the War Coalition, said: ‘Donald Trump is coming to Britain for a state visit. Let’s show him what we think of his divisive, hateful policies.’

The event, which has 7,400 people listed as attending and a further 33,000 as interested, says the march will begin in Trafalgar Square at 11am on Tuesday to ‘declare a Trump-free zone’ before ‘marching to wherever he is’.

The event description says: ‘We will be taking to the streets opposing Trump’s racism, themed areas will feature throughout the protest with climate justice, migrants’ rights, anti-racism, women’s rights, LGBT rights, anti-war and trade union rights, and many more.’

Regional demonstrations across the UK are also planned, including in Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Mr Trump’s visit last year drew tens of thousands of demonstrators to the streets and roughly 10,000 police officers were deployed.

This year’s protest props will also include a 16ft talking robot of Mr Trump sitting on a gold toilet.

Amnesty International, the human rights organisation, has said it will unfurl five giant banners at Vauxhall Bridge, facing the US embassy, on Monday morning.

The 20-metre-long banners will spread a ‘resist message’ and will say ‘Resist sexism’, ‘Resist racism’, ‘Resist hate’, ‘Resist cruelty’ and ‘Resist Trump’, the group said.

In July 2018 the 'Baby Trump# balloon hovered over Parliament Square and the Stop Trump Coalition is planning to stage a similar aerial demonstration when he arrives in June

In July 2018 the ‘Baby Trump# balloon hovered over Parliament Square and the Stop Trump Coalition is planning to stage a similar aerial demonstration when he arrives in June

Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK section’s director, said: ‘Trump has presided over two-and-a-half years of utterly shameful policies.

‘Locking up child migrants, imposing a discriminatory travel ban, decimating global funding for women’s rights and withdrawing from global human rights bodies – it’s been a roll call of shame under Donald Trump’s presidency.

‘We need to resist Trump’s trashing of human rights.

‘Within the Anglo-American relationship, we’d like to see the UK Government being far more vocal about human rights.

‘Our fear is that the Government’s desperate hunger for post-Brexit trade deals with the USA could mean we end up giving a free pass to the White House as this onslaught against human rights continues.’

It depicts the American leader with his trousers round his ankles while tweeting and says some of his well-known phrases such as ‘stable genius’ and ‘no collusion’, as well as breaking wind.

The Met said officers have met organisers of the Together Against Trump protest, who plan to gather in Trafalgar Square on June 4.

The force is in discussions to agree a route with the demonstrators, who wish to pass down Whitehall.

A section of the road will be closed off as part of the security operation around the president’s visit.

At the Tower of London, which gets 62 guns in a royal anniversary salute, the Honourable Artillery Company (file photo, firing at the Tower in 2018) will perform the ceremony with L118 Ceremonial Light Guns similar to those used in Afghanistan

At the Tower of London, which gets 62 guns in a royal anniversary salute, the Honourable Artillery Company (file photo, firing at the Tower in 2018) will perform the ceremony with L118 Ceremonial Light Guns similar to those used in Afghanistan 

Trump, pictured in Washington this week, declared he could meet his 'friends' Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage during his state visit to the UK next week

Trump, pictured in Washington this week, declared he could meet his ‘friends’ Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage during his state visit to the UK next week 

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: ‘A very experienced command team is preparing the multi-faceted policing and security operation for the president’s visit and whilst the Met has a responsibility to ensure the right to lawful protest this needs to be balanced with the complex requirements of this policing plan.’

Security has also been tightened for the UK’s national commemorations of the 75th D-Day anniversary, which will be attended by international figures including the Queen and Mr Trump.

Members of the public will be prevented from watching the event, with a double-layered solid fence to be erected around Southsea Common in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

The Met has already staged a major policing operation around protests this year, with more than 10,000 officers deployed to deal with the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations that dominated parts of central London.

Police forces in the UK have experienced a drop of nearly 20,000 officers since 2010 and concerns over resources have come into sharp focus amid a recent surge in violent crime.

When Mr Trump’s state visit was announced earlier this year, Simon Kempton from the Police Federation warned officers were already ‘run ragged’ with extra work.

The 2018 Trump visit racked up an estimated bill of £18 million.

 

The ups and downs of the Special Relationship during the May/Trump years

Donald Trump’s state visit will mark the latest chapter in the US president’s turbulent relationship with the UK during the Premiership of Theresa May. Here are some of the key events:

The President and Prime Minister walked hand in hand along the Colonnade of the West Wing in January 2017

The President and Prime Minister walked hand in hand along the Colonnade of the West Wing in January 2017

January 2017: Theresa May becomes the first foreign leader to meet the president for talks just a week after his inauguration and they are pictured in Washington holding hands as they walked.

In a joint press conference at the White House, the pair hail the US-UK ‘special relationship’ and Mrs May says Mr Trump has accepted an invitation from the Queen for the president to make a state visit to Britain later that year.

May 2017:  A row erupts between the US and British authorities after sensitive information was leaked to American news outlets in the wake of the Manchester Arena terror attack.

Two days later, Mrs May says Mr Trump has made it clear the leaks were ‘unacceptable’.

June 2017: The Prime Minister condemns Mr Trump’s Twitter attacks on London Mayor Sadiq Khan after the London Bridge atrocity. Mr Trump had mocked Mr Khan for saying there was ‘no reason to be alarmed’ over armed police on the streets of the capital.

September 2017:  Mrs May delivers a rebuke to the US president after he claimed the Parsons Green Tube bomber was ‘in the sights’ of Scotland Yard. The Prime Minister said: ‘I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.’

November 2017: Downing Street and the White House fall out after the president shared an anti-Muslim videos posted online by far-right group Britain First.

In response to a Downing Street rebuke, Mr Trump told the Prime Minister ‘don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom’.

Mrs May rebuked the President after he shared this video from a Britain First extremist. He later replied that she should 'focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the the United Kingdom'

Mrs May rebuked the President after he shared this video from a Britain First extremist. He later replied that she should ‘focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the the United Kingdom’

December 2017: American ambassador Woody Johnson expresses his desire to have the US president at the opening of the country’s new embassy on London’s South Bank in January.

January 2018: The US president says he has cancelled plans to travel to the UK to open the embassy, and hit out at the location of the project.

February 2018: Mr Trump uses the NHS as an example of why universal healthcare should not reach US shores, claiming it was ‘going broke and not working’.

March 2018: The response from Mr Trump is initially ambiguous after Russia is blamed for the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury but the White House later states it ‘stands in solidarity’ with the UK and joins Western allies in expelling diplomats.

May 2018: Mr Trump, defending US gun laws, claimed a London hospital was ‘like a war zone’ because of the rate of stabbings in the capital. ‘They don’t have guns, they have knives,’ he said.

July 2018: The president arrives in the UK for a working visit and immediately lobs a political hand grenade at Mrs May by criticising her approach to Brexit negotiations and lavishing praise on Boris Johnson – saying he would be a ‘great prime minister’ – just days after the Leave campaigner walked out of her Cabinet.

Mr Trump sought to repair the damage after talks at Chequers, saying the ‘incredible’ Prime Minister and was ‘doing a fantastic job’.

Mrs May later revealed Mr Trump’s advice on negotiating Brexit was to ‘sue the EU’.

During the visit, Mr Trump was again spotted holding the Prime Minister’s hand as they attended a banquet at Blenheim Palace.

President Trump praised Boris Johnson - then newly resigned from May's Cabinet - on the even of his 2018 state visit. Pictured: the two men at the UN in 2017

President Trump praised Boris Johnson – then newly resigned from May’s Cabinet – on the even of his 2018 state visit. Pictured: the two men at the UN in 2017

November 2018: Mr Trump says the draft Withdrawal Agreement reached by the UK and EU setting out the terms for Brexit damaged the chances of a UK-US trade deal.

March 2019: The president said he was surprised how badly Brexit has been handled and warned that another referendum would be ‘unfair’.

Speaking during a visit to the White House by Irish premier Leo Varadkar, Mr Trump said ‘I’m not sure anybody knows’ what was happening with Brexit.

May 2019: The president said Mrs May was ‘a good woman, she worked hard’ after the Prime Minister was forced to set out the timetable for her exit from Number 10.

But Mr Trump also suggested he would use his forthcoming visit to the UK to raise allegations that GCHQ was involved in spying on his presidential campaign – something the intelligence agency has dismissed as ‘nonsense’ and ‘utterly ridiculous’.

Just days before the visit Mr Trump praised Nigel Farage – whose Brexit Party helped inflict an electoral humiliation on Mrs May’s Tories earlier in the same week – and Boris Johnson, frontrunner in the race to replace the Prime Minister.

‘They are two very good guys, very interesting people,’ he said, describing both men as his ‘friends’.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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