British protesters are pulling out all the stops in preparation for President Donald Trump’s visit to the U.K. next week, including flying a giant “Trump baby” balloon over London’s Parliament Square.
The balloon—which stands nearly 20 feet high—resembles a very orange Trump grimacing while wearing only a diaper and holding a smartphone in his disproportionately small inflatable hand. The balloon was OK’d by London Mayor Sadiq Khan after more than 10,000 people signed a petition and crowdfunded more than £18,000 (about $23,000) to get the inflatable off the ground.
The balloon will fly for two hours on the morning of July 13, which coincides with Trump’s visit and a Stop Trump march in central London.
Leo Murray, part of an “art activist” group of friends who created the balloon, explained the group’s logic behind the protest in an article in Metro. Murray categorized Trump as “a man who lacks the capacity for moral shame.” Murray and his friends reasoned that, to “really get through to Trump, you have to get down on his level and talk to him in a language he understands: personal insults.” And thus, the idea for the giant Trump baby balloon was born.
Initially, it looked like the Trump baby balloon would not be allowed to fly. Officials in the London mayor’s office told the group that the inflatable did not qualify as a legitimate protest, instead classifying it as art. In response, the balloon’s creators launched a petition urging Mayor Khan to approve the balloon. In less than three weeks, the petition garnered thousands of signatures, and the mayor’s office reversed course and gave permission for the balloon to fly.
“The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms,” a spokesperson for Khan told Sky News. “His city operations team have met with the organisers and have given them permission to use Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point for the blimp.”
In addition to the Trump baby balloon, several other anti-Trump protests are planned for the duration of Trump’s U.K. visit.
Murray is optimistic about the Trump baby balloon’s success. “Ridiculing tyrants and despots is a proud British tradition,” Murray said. “If this generation is going to have to fight fascism again, we may as well have a bit of a laugh while we are doing it.”
Update, July 6, 2018, 3:11 p.m.: This post has been updated to include a tweet with an image of the balloon.