LONDON — Protestors hung banners from bridges across the UK on Friday morning to “show solidarity” with anti-Trump protestors in the US ahead of his inauguration.
A group of about 40 protestors gathered at 8 a.m. GMT (3 a.m. ET) Friday on Tower Bridge to unfurl a banner that read, “Build Bridges, Not Walls.” The slogan was aimed at Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall between Mexico and the US when he becomes President to stop illegal immigration. A speed boat with the slogan also rode down the Thames.
Protests are going on across the world on Friday against the inauguration of the controversial US president. In the UK, “Bridges Not Walls” banners went up in places like Brighton, Cambridge, Manchester, and Oxford.
Jack St. John, 26, a PhD student at St. Andrews, was involved in organising the protest and helped hold the banner on Tower Bridge.
He told BI: “Bridges Not Walls, which is the project, has brought together groups from all over with lots of different causes that are going to be affected by right-wing populism — environmental causes, anti-racist causes, solidarity with the migrants, LGBT.”
Banners were draped across ten bridges in London with different slogans, including ones that said “Migrants welcome here” and “Migration is older than language” on Westminster bridge next to Parliament.
“The idea was had by a friend of mine,” St. John said. “He wanted to do something to show that, basically Trump’s inauguration for us is not just about Trump but it’s about the rise of right-wing populism across Europe and the United States.
“Trump inauguration is a celebration of that and UK politicians seem happy to at like it’s just business as normal. We’re not about that. We’re saying that this is really significant and we want to do something about it.”
St. John said the grass-roots project was conceived in mid-December. He added: “We’re here to show solidarity with those most affected but also it’s an act of resistance.”
A boat honked in recognition of the banner while BI spoke to St. John and he said: “There’s been some great support.”
St. John said the protest was a one-off for now, but added: “Hopefully, it will be the start. This is a symbolic protest, a symbolic demonstration. But hopefully it will be the start of linking up networks of those most affected.”
He and his fellow protestors wound up the protest at around 9.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m. ET) and St. John said they were heading to London’s Millennium Bridge to meet with the protestors who had hung banners on the other bridges across London.
“We want to get together and be together on what is otherwise a quite sad day. Just checking the news on my phone, it’s worrying, you know? Farage saying Brexit has triggered a global revolution. That’s not a revolution I want to be a part of.”
Beautiful morning building #bridgesnotwalls in Manchester on #Inauguration Day. Thanks to @CitizensUK @LordMayorOfMcr @GMPCC & communities pic.twitter.com/CwgNbweNKk
— Fergie (@Furqan_Naeem) January 20, 2017
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