Protesting both the individual cruelty of U.S. President Donald Trump and the globally ascendant “politics of hate” he represents, tens of thousands took to the streets in London and across the U.K. Tuesday as Trump enjoys “royal treatment” from the British government on his first official state visit.
Trump claimed in a tweet Monday that he had not “seen any protests yet,” but the demonstrations on Tuesday will be impossible to miss, with the 20-foot-tall Trump baby blimp flying over London and crowds of Britons pouring into the streets throughout the country.
“We are here to take on misogyny, racism, fascism, and hatred,” Guardian columnist Owen Jones declared during a speech in London.
Jones emphasized this point in a column ahead of Tuesday’s mass demonstrations, noting that the protests “aren’t just about Trump, they’re about everything he stands for.”
“These protests won’t simply be about Trump and the perverse reality TV show he’s treated the world to,” Jones wrote. “The protests will be about Trumpism: about confronting a resurgent global far right, defending the rights of women and minorities, fighting the climate emergency, opposing the threat of war, and standing against an attempt to gut the NHS and trash hard-won rights and freedoms.
Journalist Shaista Aziz echoed Jones, telling the crowd gathered at a London rally Tuesday that “this protest is about Trumpism—the hatred and poverty that is spreading.”
“Our movement is about joining the dots between hate, bigotry, and inequality,” Aziz said.
The demonstrations and marches kicked off Tuesday morning as Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is resigning on Friday after failing to negotiate a Brexit deal.
Protesters caught video of Trump’s motorcade driving past the diapered Trump baby blimp on the way to 10 Downing Street:
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, declined to attend a state banquet for Trump Monday night and joined demonstrators in the streets after calling the protests “an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world, and in our own country.”