The baby blimp will once again fly over the capital.

by NADEEM BADSHAH

MORE than a million protesters and the return of the “baby blimp” are set to greet Donald Trump when he makes his controversial state visit to the UK in June.

Campaigners have predicted one of the biggest ever demonstrations when the US president arrives on June 3 for a three-day visit, which includes a Buckingham Palace banquet, talks with prime minister Theresa May in Downing Street and a trip to Portsmouth to mark 75 years since the D-Day landings of the Second World War when Allied forces invaded Nazi-occupied France.

Activists are set to unveil a bigger version of the “Trump balloon” dressed as a baby that was flown over the capital during his visit in July 2018, and which was approved by London mayor Sadiq Khan.

A 16ft talking robot of the American leader sitting on a gold toilet is also being shipped to London depicting him with his trousers down and tweeting on the toilet.

It gives off farting noises and recordings of some of Trump’s provocative soundbites including “no collusion”, “witch-hunt”, “you are fake news” and “I’m a very stable genius”.

Asad Rehman, executive director for the War on Want charity, said Trump is “not welcome”.

He told Eastern Eye: “He is equal opportunities in hatred, has fanned the flames of Islamophobia and is a climate denialist.

“A state visit is an honour bestowed on a dignitary; it is not appropriate to give that honour to Trump.

“We will have carnival resistance on the streets. The baby blimp will be flying, there will be youth climate protesters, we will be organising an iftar meal to send a strong signal to stand alongside people in the US who are facing his policies.

“He has talked about Muslim communities here, retweeted fascists. We are expecting a bigger (crowd) than last year.”

More than a million Londoners look set to protest after a YouGov/Queen Mary London poll found 13 per cent of the city’s residents are “likely” to join the march.

Rehman added: “His actions over the last year have reinforced what we said, inviting the far-right Hungary leader Viktor Orban to the White House who has been shunned by leaders across Europe.

“We have consistently raised concerns on leaders who carry out gross human rights violations.

“Britain can be better than this and raise the bar.”

During the president’s visit to the UK last year around 100,000 protesters turned out forcing Trump to take a helicopter to Windsor Castle, Blenheim Palace and the Chequers country retreat in Oxfordshire to avoid the crowds.

The Stand Up to Racism group, led by Sabby Dhalu and Weyman Bennett, criticised the US president for his plans to attend the D-Day celebrations in Portsmouth due to his attacks on immigrants. Around 1.3 million Indian-origin soldiers served in the First World War.

Bennett told Eastern Eye: “My own family fought against fascists. Trump seems to be closer to the Hitler-Mussolini axis than the axis that fought them, more in common with them than values of equality.

“Why is he coming on D-Day? It’s an insult to the black, Indian and Muslim fighters who played significant role in our democracy, but he treats them as criminals.

“We are planning the biggest demo against Trump in London he has ever seen. He is an Islamophobe, a racist and has legitimised organisations like Britain First.

“He told lies about ‘no-go areas in Britain’ and [verbally] attacked the mayor of London. We all have to come out on D-Day as many people fought against policies like these.”

Bennett added: “Theresa May has made a terrible mistake to try and appease him and give him a state visit, what he stands for is morally repugnant.

“I support the Speaker of the House (John Bercow) who said the honour of the house should be given to someone honourable.

“He has a lot of money so feels he doesn’t have to listen. Whatever background you are, you have to oppose him and say he’s not welcome in this country.”

President Trump, who has pushed for a wall along the US-Mexico border, will be greeted with a fence in Portsmouth.

Local Liberal Democrat councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the public will be prevented from watching the D-Day ceremony due to security ring to protect the president.

The only way for people to watch the proceedings will be on big screens put up on the common or on TV.

Labour MP Mohammad Yasin said: “The honour of a state visit is not something that should be bestowed upon someone who has repeatedly shared inflammatory views.

“Perhaps Theresa May should spend more time healing the rifts and divisions which her own Tory Party have contributed to here in the UK.”

The government abandoned an attempt to allow Trump to address both Houses of Parliament during his trip following opposition from Commons Speaker John Bercow and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn said he will not attend the state banquet with the US president and the Queen.
Mayor Khan backed the Labour leader’s decision, adding that he would also have declined if invited.

He said: “The prime minister should say, ‘Listen, we may have a special relationship, we may agree on most things but I’ve got to tell you this… I think you are wrong on A, B, C, D and E.’”

In 2016, Trump challenged the London mayor to an IQ test after Khan said his views on Islam were “ignorant”.

Following the attack on London Bridge and Borough market in 2017, the US president accused Khan of “pathetic” behaviour with the former Labour MP responding that he would not allow Trump to “divide our communities”. Last year the ex-Apprentice host tweeted that Khan had “done a very bad job on terrorism”.