British activist Leo Murray has won permission from London mayor Sadiq Khan to fly a giant inflatable balloon portraying Donald Trump as a diaper-clad, orange-toned baby over Parliament next Friday (July 13), during the US president’s official visit.
In an editorial published in London’s Murray said that, initially, the Mayor’s office was “not super pumped about our application to fly an unflattering effigy of the US president over Parliament.” He says they called Trump Baby mere “art” and said that “inflatables did not qualify as legitimate protest.” He went on to describe how he convinced them otherwise:
“But there was nothing in the rules about not flying inflatables, and all our paperwork was in order. We began to wonder if this might not be an important test of the health and vitality of our democracy. So we started a petition to the Mayor to let Trump Baby fly – and the great British public did not disappoint. In under three weeks the petition has been signed by over 10,000 people, while our crowdfunder to cover the costs of the protest smashed its initial target in 48 hours, with money pouring in from every corner of Britain and beyond. Trump Baby seems to have captured the mood of the moment.
Murray says he believes that in order to get through to Trump “you have to get down on his level and talk to him in a language he understands: personal insults.”
He describes the balloon, which measures over 19 feet tall, as having “tiny hands and a malevolent, constipated expression on his face.”
Protests are expected across London when Trump arrives for a three-day visit next Friday. will fly for two hours on the morning of July 13, at the same time as the “Stop Trump” march in central London, reports.
Joking aside, I want to say a huge personal thank you to @SadiqKhan and all @MayorofLondon ‘s events team for acknowledging that legitimate protest comes in many different forms. I’m profoundly grateful and relieved British democracy still works https://t.co/HWzgR9SQoF
— Leo Murray (@crisortunity) July 5, 2018
“The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms,” a representative for Khan told CNN “His city operations team have met with the organizers and have given them permission to use Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point for the blimp.” However, the spokesperson added that the balloon flyers will also need approvals from the Metropolitan Police and National Air Traffic Service.
The giant balloon will be attached to the ground in Parliament Square Gardens, according to CNN. It won’t be allowed to float higher than 100 feet in the air.