Day After Trump Claims 'Tremendous Crowds of Well Wishers' in London, Protesters Storm the Streets in Their Thousands

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of London to protest President Donald Trump's state visit to the United Kingdom, with a giant blimp of the U.S. leader and a model of him tweeting on a toilet appearing among the crowds in the British capital.

The large and colorful protests come just one day after Trump tweeted that "tremendous crowds of well wishers," had greeted him in London. At the time, on the mall which leads to Buckingham Palace, only a smattering of Londoners appeared to have come out to welcome the president. Of the few supporters that came out for Trump in the British capital Tuesday, the Independent reported 20 of them had become trapped in a local pub following clashes with anti-Trump demonstrators.

Despite light rain in London, protesters organized by the Stop Trump Coalition headed in droves to the central protest in the city's famous Trafalgar Square. According to a Facebook group arranging a "Together Against Trump" protest some 40,000 individuals were interested in the event. Attendance is expected to be far higher, however. Last year, during Trump's first visit to the U.K., 250,000 people marched in London, organizers have said.

Police in the U.K. have said some 10,000 officers would be on the streets during the president's visit. The security operation is expected to cost the equivalent of $30 million. London's Metropolitan Police have said in a statement that demonstrators should not pass Downing Street, where the president will be holding meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Anti-Trump protesters
Anti-Trump protesters hold placards and balloons depicting US President Donald Trump as an orange baby as they gather in Trafalgar Square during a demonstration against the US State Visit in central London on June 4, 2019. ISABEL INFANTES/AFP/Getty Images

Dominating the crowds of anti-Trump demonstrators, who carried placards emblazoned with slogans such as "I am awfully British, you're just awful," and "Trump for prison," were two giant caricatures of the president. One, a 20 foot blimp showing the president in a diaper, appeared at last year's protest. Another, dubbed "Dump Trump, is 16 foot high and shows the president tweeting on a golden toilet. It is brand new.

Writing in the Independent, one of the organizers of the "Trump Baby" blimp has explained the balloon "sends a clear, orange, message," that Trump is not welcome. According to its website, the "Dump Trump" model is the brainchild of U.S. science writer and dinosaur expert Don Lessem who poured $25,000 of his own money into the effigy. The model reportedly makes fart noises and plays audio recordings of phrases such as "no collusion," "witch hunt," and "you are fake news."

A number of Britain's opposition politicians, including the country's leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn, are due to address the protesters. The leader of the country's Green Party, Caroline Lucas, told the assembled demonstrators Trump was unworthy of respect because his opinions on climate change. "This is a man who is not worthy of our respect. He thinks climate change is a hoax. We will resist his efforts to take a wrecking ball to the climate change agreement," she told the crowds.

Writing for Newsweek, Lucas said: "His refusal to acknowledge the science of climate change is not only recklessly ignorant, it endangers global efforts to tackle the climate emergency."

London's Mayor Sadiq Khan has also doubled down on his criticism of the president after Trump called him a "stone cold loser." The mayor rebuffed the president's attack calling it childish. London's first Muslim mayor, Khan told Sky News that Trump was also a "poster-boy for the far-right movement around the world," but added that today's protests should remain peaceful.