July 6, 2018
A giant balloon dubbed “Trump baby” has been given the green light to fly near London’s House of Parliament during the POTUS’s U.K. visit on July 13, Sky News reports. London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Greater London Authority has approved a request for the flight after thousands signed a petition and a crowdfunding campaign raised more than US$21,000 to get the 20-foot inflatable off the ground.
Strict rules are in place for the flight from Parliament Square Gardens, with the balloon being tethered to the ground and restricted from floating higher than 98 feet in the air. It will go aloft between 9.30 a.m. and 11.30 a.m., coinciding with a “Stop Trump” march in central London.
A spokesperson for Khan said: “The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms. 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.”
Demonstrators say the Metropolitan Police are in charge of local airspace on the day, have seen their plans, and currently “are happy for the flight to go ahead,” but maintain a right of veto on the day.
The group behind the stunt—who call themselves anti-fascist “art activists“—
are now liaising with the Met and the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure airspace over London is managed safely on the day.
Activist Leo Murray told Sky News: “We didn’t get off to the best start with the Mayor’s office over this, who originally told us that they didn’t recognize Trump Baby as legitimate protest. But, following a huge groundswell of public support for our plan, it looks like City Hall has rediscovered its sense of humor. Trump Baby will fly!”
Murray has described the balloon as an “obscene mutant clone of the president” and says it will “hold up a huge mirror of truth” to the world. Describing Trump as a “dangerous excuse for a president”, the group’s spokesperson, Nona Hurkmans, said: “We are just a small group of friends who set out to show that fascists are not welcome in the UK.
“We have been genuinely overwhelmed and touched by the incredible levels of support we have received for our project.”
Activists also hope to take “Trump Baby” on a world tour following the president’s visit.
Research contact: @SkyNews