Trump baby blimp flies in London as protests greet president
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Trump baby blimp flies in London as protests greet president

UK opposition chief Corbyn to address peace activists, women’s groups and environmentalists in demonstration condemning policies of visiting US president

The 'Trump Baby' blimp is inflated in Parliament Square in central London as people start to gather to demonstrate against the state visit of US President Donald Trump on June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
The 'Trump Baby' blimp is inflated in Parliament Square in central London as people start to gather to demonstrate against the state visit of US President Donald Trump on June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — As British Prime Minister Theresa May meets US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, thousands of protesters plan to tell the US leader he should have stayed at home.

Trade unions, women’s groups, peace campaigners and environmentalists are gathering in the capital to condemn Trump’s policies — and Britain’s decision to roll out the red carpet for a pomp-filled state visit.

Protests began with the flying of a giant blimp depicting the president as an angry orange baby, which rose from the grass of central London’s Parliament Square.

One group came dressed in the red cloaks and bonnets of characters from Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is set in a dystopian, misogynist future America.

Demonstrators gather around a protest sculpture depicting US President Donald Trump on a toilet using a smartphone as protesters against the US president’s State Visit gather in Trafalgar Square in central London on June 4, 2019, on the second day of Trump’s three-day State Visit to the UK. (ISABEL INFANTES / AFP)

Leaders of Britain’s main opposition party are due to join demonstrators later at a rally in Trafalgar Square, just up the street from May’s Downing St. office. Police have erected barricades to stop protesters marching past the gates of Downing St.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to address the protest, which will be attended by several senior lawmakers from his left-of-center party.

Emily Thornberry, Labour’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, said Trump was “a sexual predator” and a racist who did not deserve the honor of a state visit hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Thornberry told the BBC that the leader of Britain’s most important ally should be stood up to “the way you deal with a bully” because “if you bow down in front of them you just get kicked harder.”

US President Donald Trump inspects an honour guard during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to the UK. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Not everyone in London was unwelcoming.

Lewis Metcalfe said he came to the city from his home in northern England to show support for the US president.

“I’m obviously going to be a minority today,” said Metcalfe, who wore a “Make America Great Again” cap.

“I don’t agree with all his policies. He’s not the greatest president in the world, but he does get things done.”

Trump dined with the queen at Buckingham Palace and took tea with Prince Charles on Monday, the first day of his three-day visit.

Demonstrators hold placards as they protest against US President Donald Trump’s visit, outside of Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019. (Ben STANSALL/AFP)

Things are likely to become more awkward on Tuesday when he meets May, who is in the final weeks of her premiership. The two leaders have sharply differing views on issues including Iran, Brexit and Chinese telecoms firm Huawei.

Trump has already criticized May’s handling of Brexit and said May’s rival Boris Johnson would make an “excellent” prime minister.

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