HEATED clashes have taken place in London’s Trafalgar Square with one being dragged away by police after spitting at an officer.
The protesters headed down Regent St towards Trafalgar Square for a massive rally overnight, carrying signs reading “You’re not welcome here” and “Ban guns not Muslims”.
One popular chant was “He’s going home” to the tune of Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home), the soccer anthem that has been heard throughout England during the World Cup.
The streets were filled with people watching and shouting out their support. Those taking part in the march were a cross-section of society — young, old, parents and children.
A big balloon depicting Mr Trump as an angry baby clutching a mobile phone was inflated and launched in front of a cheering crowd in the first act on a day of anti-Trump events in London.
The “Trump baby” was sent into the sky above Parliament Square in Westminster before it was grabbed by demonstrators leading the march, as the city put on a massive show of strength against the US President.
One speaker in Parliament Square mocked Mr Trump, saying “Our crowd is bigger than his crowd.”
Another shouted: “The only phobia you’re allowed to have is Trump-phobia!”
Protesters displayed signs reading “Fight racism”, “Trump stole all my bronzer” and “Feed him to the Corgis”, and the roar from the marchers shouting and whistling was deafening.
Jon Spencer, of Kent, said he wouldn’t have missed the protest.
“I think history will record him as being very bad and I wanted to be able to say I did something,” he told news.com.au.
He said his main issue was that Mr Trump didn’t seem to care about the damage he was inflicting.
“He’s a businessman and is all about the deal and the end result, but it’s how you get there and the effect it has on people he doesn’t seem interested in.”
Mr Trump met British Prime Minister May at her country residence Chequers and is largely avoiding London, but US diplomats insisted it had nothing to do with the large-scale demonstrations.
However, he told The Sun he did feel “unwelcome” in the city.
“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” he said in an exclusive interview.
He said he used to love London, but wouldn’t stay anywhere he was made to feel unwelcome.
“And when I say that I am talking about government, because the people of the UK agree with me,” Mr Trump said.
He claimed to have received thousands of messages from Brits who supported him, and praised a west London pub for renaming itself the Trump Arms.
“I love these people. They are my people,” he said.
Mr Trump has a long-running feud with London mayor Sadiq Khan, who he accuses of being soft on terrorism, and suggested the city leader had fuelled the unrest against him.
“I think he has not been hospitable to the government … he might not like the current president, but I represent the United States.”
Hundreds of extra police have been deployed to protect the Trumps and a three-metre high steel fence — dubbed the “ring of steel” — has been set up around the US ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park. The fence is designed to safeguard against protesters, including a group called Keep Trump Awake, which aimed to keep Mr Trump awake by making noise throughout the night.
The visit has led to the biggest mobilisation of officers since the 2011 London riots, with police called from all over the UK, at a cost of $18 million. Some forces have had to cancel hundreds of hours of rest days for staff so they can keep their streets safe while colleagues are in London protecting the President.
The US Embassy has even taken the extraordinary step of warning citizens to keep a “low profile” as the protests could “become violent”.
Mr Trump visited a British defence facility on Friday with Mrs May, before flying to Chequers for a working lunch.
A farmer whose land is along their flight path has allowed protesters to make a crop circle that spells out “F*** Trump”.
From Chequers, Mr Trump and the First Lady flew to Windsor Castle for an audience with the Queen.
They will then spend the weekend in Scotland — where police were also braced for protests — visiting his golf courses, before flying out on Sunday evening to Helsinki, Finland, for his eagerly awaited summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Originally published as UK erupts: ‘Trump not welcome’