A Carnival of Resistance (President Trump’s visit to London)

Here is a gallery of pictures from President Trump’s visit to the UK last month. Since I am now a senior citizen and no longer have a job to be fired from I thought it my particular responsibility to be in the vanguard of the protest marches. Those of the ultra-polite completely British variety of course. After all, even Her Majesty, who at 92 remains one of the most dignified people on the planet, chose to wear a simple little brooch which had been given to her by Trump’s nemeses Barack and Michelle Obama in 2011.

The big march was planned for Central London on Friday the 13th July but the evening before I joined a small but enthusiastic group outside the gates of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire where the Trumps were being given a hastily hashed-together military parade well away from the public gaze. (Although he arrived by helicopter POTUS apparently could not resist using his ridiculous armour- plated “Beast” of a Presidential vehicle to transport him up the drive).

There were actually much fewer than the estimated 1,000 protesters outside the gates but we made ourselves look as cheerfully photogenic as possible so as to appear in lots of the following day’s news outlets. I myself chose to be photographed standing next to an Asian chap in a blond Trump wig; a sure fire winner with the cameras. Actually, he was a bit of an idiot who claimed to be a massive supporter of the US President; I hadn’t the heart to tell him that a brown face under a Trump hairstyle would be about the biggest insult that he could possibly offer to the world’s most ardent xenophobe.

Still laughing to myself, I drove on to London and stayed overnight in Wimbledon to prepare for a full day’s activities. Now, I haven’t actually attended a demonstration since this sort of thing was a regular part of my police duties back in the day but I remembered a few essential lessons.

1 Comfortable footwear

2 Water bottle (preferably suspended from a belt)

3 Hat & sun protection

4 Know where the toilet opportunities will be in advance

5 Avoid noisy groups of marchers (those chants & whistles will give you a headache in no time)

6 Banners must be legible and manageable (I put a camera case on my belt to hold the pole)

In the event I stayed out in Central London from 10am to 4pm and had a very fulfilling day. My “Remember Jo Cox” banner instigated many friendly encounters: people shook my hand, they posed for photographs with me, some even blinked back tears. I met a few people from Yorkshire who understood the significance of the white roses of York that I had chosen for my outfit. No one can conclusively lay the horrific murder of this tiny, beloved Member of Parliament in 2016 at the door of the hate speech promulgated by the extreme right but when the so called “leader of the free world” declares open season on anyone who would come to the assistance of refugees then terrible things can follow.

Although I followed the route from Marylebone to Parliament Square, I must admit to avoiding the main crush at Trafalgar Square; I preferred the small interpersonal encounters to listening to the big speeches. I also did my best to avoid the saucepan-banging, pink-woolly-hat-wearing feminist groups. Sorry, Ladies, I’m afraid I can’t help but have some sympathy with you critics: a touch of depilatory cream might be a good idea. Whether there were actually 100,000 on the march I couldn’t say but I not only saw the infamous Trump-baby balloon but I managed to photograph it in the afternoon sun with Westminster Abbey in the background and a “Pussy Grabber” poster to the fore.

The Carnival of Resistance was declared by most to have been an absolutely splendid achievement and, while it probably won’t teach Mr Trump anything about the meaning of democracy, it will keep him away from our shores for the foreseeable future.

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