News of the London mayors approval to fly an orange “Baby Trump” blimp dominated news headlines during the last couple of days, as a counter-group announced they are raising money for a size-equal “Baby Khan” blimp to fly over London next week.
A campaign launched by Yanny Bruere, a Brit who lives in Spain, was set up to raise money to fly the “Baby Khan” balloon and crowdfund a protest against approving a Trump baby blimp. The campaign has already raised around $33,000, nearly 68% of the target.
“In light of the Donald Trump 'Baby Trump' ballon being allowed to fly over London during his visit to the U.K., let's get a 'baby Khan' one and see if FREE SPEECH applies to all and whether or not Mr Khan and the London assembly will also approve this,” read the statement of ‘Baby Khan’ Balloon Campaign.
The campaigners were skeptical about Khan’s claims of “freedom of speech,” holding back whether he will allow the blimp this time and apply his “freedom of speech” claims.
The Muslim Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had earlier approved a 19-foot baby Trump blimp to fly over the Parliament in London for two hours on July 13, 2018, as part of protesting the US President’s visit to the UK.
It comes after organizers behind the orange Trump baby balloon crowdfunded around $18,000 of its $23,000 stretch target to fundraise the campaign. It surpassed its initial goal which led them announce a “world tour” for the float.
Khan had faced a wide condemnation over approving the angry Trump’s baby blimp, who was first requested by an anti-Trump group call themselves “anti-fascists”. However, Khan’s spokesman defended the decision as a form of supporting the right to peaceful protests.
Opinions on Trump’s balloon were split online. With some claiming it is the “biggest insult to a sitting US president ever,” including Brexit leader Nigel Farage, others were happy that the mayor's office had "rediscovered its sense of humor" in allowing the float to be displayed, including activist Leo Murray, who is behind the orange Trump blimp.
While some users attributed the mayor’s approval to his identity as a Muslim, arguing that if Trump was a Muslim leader, he might not be able to do the same.
Some Londoners cited official statistics on the increasing number of stabbing incidents and knife crimes that are taking place in the capital city, blaming the mayor of being busy with a “childish” stunts instead of finding a real solutions to the city’s serious problems.
Trump is scheduled to visit the UK during the coming week, in which he will meet Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Theresa May. However, Trump’s policies have raised concerns in the UK in addition to exchanging tweets earlier with London’s mayor clashing on topics like terrorism and Islamophobia.
In April 2018, after the date in which Trump will visit the UK was revealed, thousands of Britons pledged to take to the streets to protest the visit. Meanwhile, Khan tweeted a warning to Trump to expect protests during his visit in London, suggesting that what Trump will experience is about openness and diversity in a united city over division and fear of others.
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