Activists Plan To Use Trump Baby Balloon To Protest President's 4th of July Speech

A group of activists are planning to protest President Donald Trump's Fourth of July address at the Lincoln Memorial next month with the United Kingdom's "Baby Trump" balloon, an orange blimp that previously appeared at protests during the president's visits to England.

Code Pink, a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, began fundraising to bring the large blimp to America last year after the president announced a military parade in Washington D.C. for Veterans Day.

Although Trump's plans were later canceled following widespread scrutiny of the event's estimated $92 million cost, Code Pink continued their fundraising efforts. So far, the group has raised over $10,000 to bring the balloon to the U.S.

"We've just switched our plans from the military parade to the Fourth of July," Code Pink co-director Ariel Gold told The Washington Post. "We're appalled that Trump is taking that day to spew his hateful and racist rhetoric... and we really hope this gets canceled, too."

Whether the balloon will be allowed to fly during Trump's address will depend on the outcome of the group's application for a protest permit, which was filed with the National Park Service on Monday, according to the Post. The group expects roughly 40 people to attend their protest.

In their permit application, Code Pink reportedly asked to be allowed to fly Baby Trump over "any open grassy area nearest to [the] Lincoln Memorial."

Code Pink's plans to protest the president's Fourth of July speech was first announced by Medea Benjamin, the group's co-founder, in a statement last week.

"The president is shifting the 4th of July festivities to celebrate his administration. We will bring together people opposed to the pain and suffering caused by this administration, from family separation at the border to supplying weapons used by Saudi Arabia to kill Yemeni children," she said, adding that the Baby Trump balloon will make an appearance "among the creative visuals."

Newsweek reached out to the Trump administration for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Trump first announced the Independence Day event at the Lincoln Memorial in a February tweet, where he declared that the event would be "one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington D.C."

"HOLD THE DATE! We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. It will be called 'A Salute To America' and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial," the president tweeted. "Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!"

London activist Leo Murray came up with the idea to put a 20-foot Trump Baby balloon in the skies during Trump's state visit to the U.K. last July. The blimp, which depicts an angry caricature baby version of the president holding a smartphone, was flown outside the Palace of Westminster after an online fundraiser generated enough money to get it off the ground.

"This has wildly exceeded my expectations," Murray told Newsweek at the time. It's "captured something of the essence of the president's character."

Donald Trump Baby Balloon
A giant baby trump balloon flies over the Parliament Square during a demonstration against the visit to the UK by US President Donald Trump on July 13, 2018 in London, England. A group of activists are planning to protest Trump's 4th of July address with the "Baby Trump" balloon, which made an appearance during the president's previous visits to the U.K. Getty/TF-Images