Trump protesters out in force in Glasgow - but requests to fly the blimp denied
PUBLISHED: 20:09 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:50 14 July 2018
Thousands of people have gathered in Glasgow's George Square to protest against Donald Trump's visit as he prepares to fly to Scotland.
Among the placards carried by campaigners were messages against the US president’s policies including “Give the weans Irn Bru not iron cages” while others urged him to go home, with signs saying “Bolt ya rocket and make Scotland great again”.
The protest took place before the controversial president had even touched down in Scotland.
Trump is due to fly into Prestwick Airport for the private Scottish leg of his UK visit later on Friday.
But Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard called on the billionaire tycoon to “rethink your whole political approach”.
Speaking as he joined the crowds in Glasgow city centre, Leonard said the cross-party, multi-faith demonstration would give people a voice.
“Today I think there’s a carnival atmosphere. There will be music, poetry and also serious political speeches,” he said.
“Lots of people will have a voice to show why they are protesting against Donald Trump’s visit.”
He added: “My message to Trump is to think again about racism, think again about your misogyny, think again about your Islamophobia, think again about climate change, think again about trade unions and workers’ rights.
“Rethink your whole political approach and then there might be some possibility of there being some meaningful dialogue.”
SNP depute leader Keith Brown later said the Glasgow rally was “important as it tells the world what Scotland thinks of the US president”.
Brown said: “This city and this country has got an extremely proud record of welcoming refugees and immigrants from all around the world, that’s one of the defining aspects of Scotland and difference between us and Donald Trump.”
He told the crowd: “Let’s show Donald Trump what we think of his policies.
“Let’s show what Scotland thinks of his immigration policies, of his anti-Muslim policies, of the way that he treats women.
“And let’s show the world what Scotland thinks of Donald Trump.”
Protests will continue in Scotland on Saturday, however, the giant inflatable baby Trump will not be flown after requests were denied by Scottish Parliament.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Parliament said: “Parliamentary officials have declined a request to fly the balloon at Holyrood, as it would not be an appropriate use of the Parliament’s grounds.
“We do, however, support the right to protest and have agreed to the rally setting off from Holyrood on Saturday.”
The protesters’ previous attempt to have the blimp fly above the Trump Turnberry golf course as the president visits there this weekend were blocked due to airspace restrictions.