"He’s been undoing all sorts of social progress"
Thousands of protesters lined the streets of London to protest against US President Donald Trump’s state visit to UK today (Tuesday June 4).
Watch our video footage from the protests above
Huge crowds descended on Whitehall to hear defiant anti-Trump talks from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas – only yards from Trump’s meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street.
The demonstration has attracted thousands of Brits who accuse the US leader of perpetuating misogyny, racism and sexism, but it has also attracted the support of Trump’s own citizens too.
Speaking to NME, one US critic accused Trump of diminishing America’s power on the world stage.
“He dogwhistles to the xenophobic and Islamophobic and the misogynistic,” said Levi, who is originally from San Francisco. “He brings down our level of discourse as a country, he belittles the office of Presidency and embarrasses us on a world stage. He is losing credibility that America has gained over decades and he’s undoing a lot of the progress we’ve made, both internationally and economically and also socially.
“He’s been undoing all sorts of social progress and that’s the hardest part to get back. To see the most vulnerable people be the ones that are hurt the most by his policies, it breaks my heart.”
The demonstration has also seen the return of a giant blimp in Parliament Square – which depicts the US leader as an angry nappy-clad baby. It previously flew in the same location when Trump visited the UK last year.
One of the blimp’s self-proclaimed “babysitters”, who wished to remain nameless, said: “We’re not saying he shouldn’t be here and we shouldn’t have a relationship with America , but the level to which the red carpet is being pulled out for someone that’s spouting xenophobia, misogyny, denying climate change and has just said the NHS could be privatised as part of a trade deal, we’ve got to hold him to account and say it’s gotta be on our terms and a relationship that works for everyone.”
The huge show of defiance against Trump comes on the second day of his official trip to the UK and follows on from an official banquet with the Queen on Monday evening.
While the majority of attendees are opposing Trump, smaller pockets of his UK supporters were seen too – with some wearing the recognisable red caps associated with his fans.
Two fans, who were both in their early 20s, described the protest as “embarrassing”.
“We’re not here to get aggressive with people, we’re here because the President of the US has come to the United Kingdom and there’s a spectacle like this to greet him,” they told NME.
“That’s very embarrassing for our nation.”
Another said: “80 years ago, my great granddad stood with Americans to keep this country free. They’re our greatest allies and they always come to help us out.”