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 A giant baby trump balloon flies over the Parliament Square during a demonstration against the visit to the UK by US President Donald Trump on July 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo: TF-Images/Getty Images)

 A giant baby trump balloon flies over the Parliament Square during a demonstration against the visit to the UK by US President Donald Trump on July 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo: TF-Images/Getty Images)

We’re Flying the Trump Baby Blimp Again—Because the US President Doesn’t Deserve Our Respect

Our balloon is part of a proud history of political satire in the UK that sends a clear, orange, message to Trump and his politics of hate that they are not welcome here

Tomorrow, as Donald Trump proceeds with his state visit, I’ll be part of a team of people babysitting our Trump Baby blimp as he soars through the skies of London.

Last year Trump Baby joined 250,000 people on the streets of London with a further 150,000 people around the UK to protest his visit. Upon seeing the balloon, Trump said “I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London”. That’s exactly the point.

We know Trump isn’t a joke—he is responsible for rampant xenophobia, sexism and transphobia and the creeping rise of far right politics.

We know Trump isn’t a joke—he is responsible for rampant xenophobia, sexism and transphobia and the creeping rise of far right politics. His climate denial and persistent facilitation of the fossil fuel industry is a death sentence for communities in the global south. But if flying a balloon caricature is what gets under his skin – then that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Trump has repeatedly shown that he doesn’t respond to reason, to facts or to science. What he does respond to is humiliation. Our balloon is part of a proud history of political satire in the UK that sends a clear, orange, message to Trump and his politics of hate that they are not welcome here.

Some people have asked whether a personal attack on Trump is fair. The same question that was posed after Tommy Robinson and Nigel Farage were doused in milkshakes during their recent European election campaigns.

The answer is yes. Trump is responsible for thousands of personal attacks and the power and politics of the far right is a dangerous threat to lives of thousands of lives here and around the world. Every policy signed that removes reproductive rights from women, every detention or deportation that separates a child from a parent, every climate denial shouted into the smoke of a February wildfire is an attack on millions of individuals.

The Stop Trump protests in the UK are about more than a balloon. It’s a gathering of those who want to stand up to Trump’s vile dialogue and politics, standing in solidarity with those most affected by them in the UK. For the thousands of us in the streets, there are thousands more organising and campaigning every day to create a future free from Trump’s hate.

Groups like Sunrise and the UK Student Climate Network who are organising to demand radical economic and environmental reform by calling for a "green new deal." Planned Parenthood and Sister’s Uncut, fighting for reproductive rights and the safety of women and non-binary people, and Jawaab and United We Dream, groups of young people organising for migrant and racial justice.

We must continue to resist and undermine Trump and far right politics at every level.

For us to fly Trump Baby again, we’re raising 30k for those 6 groups in order to fund their resistance to the violent manifestations of Trump’s politics. Organising for change requires a long game. In the meantime, it’s important to laugh in the face of your enemies, at the same time as recognising the threat they pose and working to fight against it.

After Tuesday, we must continue to resist and undermine Trump and far right politics at every level. Balloons in the air, milkshakes in hand, boots on the ground: we will continue to organise for a radical economic, environmental and social movement that centres justice for everyone.

So today we’re asking just one thing of the public. If you hate the politics of Trump, and love the Baby Balloon, please do give what you can to help make him fly and to support the people who are standing up to his damaging policies.


© 2016 The Independent

Anna Vickerstaff

 

Anna Vickerstaff is a climate activist based in Leeds, UK. She is part of national direct action group Reclaim the Power, which uses creative, non-violent resistance to support communities battling fossil fuel extraction and fight for social, economic and climate justice.

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