Tens of thousands march in London against Donald Trump
Demonstrators chanted ‘Donald Trump’s not welcome here’ as they filled the capital’s streets.
Tens of thousands of protesters have swarmed the streets of central London to protest during Donald Trump’s first visit to the UK as US president.
Organisers of the Together Against Trump mass demonstration claimed they had been told by police that more than 100,000 protesters had joined the march by mid-afternoon.
While the US leader described the relationship between his country and the UK as being at “the highest level of special” following a working lunch at Chequers with Theresa May, protesters in the capital chanted: “Donald Trump’s not welcome here”.
Aerial views showed densely packed crowds gathered at Portland Place and filling Oxford Street and Regent Street ahead of a rally at Trafalgar Square.
The Metropolitan Police said they would not give an estimate of numbers in attendance, but MPS Events tweeted that such was the scale of the crowd that stallholders in Trafalgar Square had been asked to take down their stands “to maximise the space available”.
Celebrities including Stephen Fry and James Bond actress Samantha Bond tweeted their support for those marching, while Downton Abbey actress Laura Carmichael joined crowds.
Politicians including former deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg and ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband said they would be taking part in the protests.
The day of demonstrations began with a giant baby blimp caricature of an angry Mr Trump being flown in Parliament Square.
While the president did not personally witness the blimp’s flight, he did say it had made him “feel unwelcome” in London.
Protesters said it was an accurate representation of his politics, which Mexican Paul Fonseca, 23, of Camden, north London, described as “so immature”.
Some more ambitious handiwork pic.twitter.com/2jEc4iBM9S— Sam Blewett (@BlewettSam) July 13, 2018
The Together Against Trump march followed the Women’s March, which used the hashtag Bring The Noise, earlier on Friday afternoon, during which pots and pans were bashed and chanting erupted from the crowd against a backdrop of drumming and cheering.
Immigration, the treatment of refugee women, equal rights for women and people of different sexes were among the topics raised and organisers of that demo said more than 80,000 people had turned out.
Scotland Yard said there had been no arrests by 3.30pm at the women’s march.
The colourful march began after a choir sang, the suffragette march was played on a loudspeaker and people joined in with the songs We Are Family and Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves.
It was a carnival atmosphere among the crowd, which included babies being pushed in prams plus men and women of different ages and races.
The marchers banged out a wall of noise as they headed from London’s west end to Parliament Square in a loud carnival atmosphere of drumming and cheering.
A huge colourful crowd now on the march in London. pic.twitter.com/7dmpajJXZT— Catherine Wylie (@wyliecatherine) July 13, 2018
Carmichael, who played Lady Edith Crawley in Downton Abbey, held a banner which read “End Violence Against Women”.
Lucy Guy, 41, brought a handmade poster which read “Not even your wife likes you”.
The Nottingham-born TV comedy writer, who lives in Hackney, east London, said: “There are so many reasons to dislike Trump and one of them is that he is a massive misogynist.
“We all know that he cannot stop watching the TV so I hope he might see this and it annoys him.”
The homemade banner proudly held by Emily Darnell, 40, an executive assistant from Haywards Heath near Brighton, read “Super Callous Fragile Racist Sexist Nazi Potus”.
She said: “Trump is just a vile, vile man so I felt really motivated to come here.”
Protesters said they were united against Mr Trump and many had put their creative caps on with a range of colourful banners.
James O’Brien, from Co Mayo, was selling Trump toilet paper at Oxford Circus which was attracting amused passers-by.
Spotted in Regent Street - a Donald Trump toilet paper seller pic.twitter.com/a3vwHbqgzz— Federica De Caria (@federicadecaria) July 13, 2018
“We thought it’d be fun,” he said.
Getting the attention of potential buyers, he said: “The most satisfaction you can have in a toilet, kids.”
A percentage of the money raised from the toilet rolls is going towards mental health awareness.
Messages on placards included “This is our carnival of resistance”, “No Fan of Fake Tan Man”, “How Dare You Combover here” plus “Trump Stinks” alongside an image of a turd emoji topped off with a golden wig.
A woman in whiteface and a clown’s outfit had a banner which declared “Clowns Against Trump” on one side and a plea to end child detention on the other.
Inge Kjemtrup, chairwoman of Democrats Abroad, said she felt it was “extremely exciting” to be an American in London and seeing so many people come out in protest against the US president.
She said: “These people are objecting to Trump and his policies. His policies are anti-immigration, anti-health and harmful. They are protesting all the horrible things he is doing to divide people on all kinds of grounds such as religious.
“We want to let overseas Americans know they should vote in the mid-terms to do something about it.”
Spot the "Careful now" placard - an essential at every protest pic.twitter.com/pZWYghmlkz— Catherine Wylie (@wyliecatherine) July 13, 2018
Bond, who has played Miss Moneypenny in James Bond films, tweeted her support for the march, saying: “Donald Trump has devastated funding for women’s health in the poorest countries, refuses asylum to women fleeing domestic violence + is undermining human rights worldwide.”
Right, I'm going on the anti-Trump demo. I had no intention to but his crazed attacks on the EU, NATO, and WTO have changed things. Plus his best UK pals are Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Piers Morgan. He dislikes everything I believe in and believes in everyone I dislike! 1/2— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) July 12, 2018
Sir Nick said Mr Trump’s latest actions had motivated him to join the march.
He tweeted: “Right, I’m going on the anti-Trump demo. I had no intention to but his crazed attacks on the EU, Nato, and WTO have changed things.
“Plus his best UK pals are Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Piers Morgan. He dislikes everything I believe in and believes in everyone I dislike!
“Donald Trump has every right to visit. We have every right to say he’s wrong.”