British protesters tell Trump from Tower
Bridge: 'Build bridges not walls'
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[January 20, 2017]
By Alistair Smout and Luke Bridges
LONDON (Reuters) - A banner reading "Build
bridges not walls" was draped across London's Tower Bridge on Friday as
part of a series of protests across the world aimed at expressing
displeasure at the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president.
Protesters on the drawbridge, with its two Gothic-style towers, held up
pink letters reading "Act now!" soon after sunrise, while others
unfurled the banner over the railings and a speedboat with a black flag
reading "build bridges not walls" raced down the River Thames.
Beside the British parliament, protesters draped banners saying
"Migrants welcome here" and "Migration is older than language" over
Westminster bridge. Other protests are planned in London, other British
cities and across the world on Friday.
Julie Chasin, a 42-year-old teacher originally from New York who has
lived in London for a decade, said she joined the protest to hold up one
of the pink letters on Tower Bridge as she was concerned about the Trump
"Yes Donald Trump is President, but he still needs to protect
everybody's rights," said Chasin, a Democrat who said she worked on
Hillary campaign in North Carolina.
"It's scary. I hope he's kept in check. I hope everyone who is telling
me not to worry, and saying that we have a strong system of checks and
balances, I hope that it's true," Chasin said.
Trump has repeatedly pledged to "make America great again", drawing
strong support especially from areas of industrial decline. He said on
Twitter that he would fight very hard to make his presidency a great
journey for the American people.
TRUMP'S FRESH APPROACH
Due to be sworn in at a ceremony in Washington on Friday, he faces
protests in Washington during his inauguration, and in cities from
Toronto to Sydney, Addis Ababa and Dublin over his politics which
critics say are divisive and dangerous.
The protest in London was organized by the campaign group also called
"Bridges not Walls", in reference to Trump's pledge to build a wall on
the Mexican border.
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Demonstrators hold a banner that reads "Build Bridges Not Walls" on
Ironbridge during a protest against the inauguration of Donald Trump
as U.S. President, in Ironbridge, Britain January 20, 2017.
"We won't let the politics of hate peddled by the likes of Donald
Trump take hold," Nona Hurkmans of Bridges not Walls said in a
Trump opponents have been angered by his comments during the
campaign about women, illegal immigrants and Muslims and his pledges
to scrap the Obamacare health reform and build a wall on the Mexican
The Republican's supporters admire his experience in business,
including as a real estate developer and reality television star,
and view him as an outsider who will take a fresh approach to
For some on the protest in London, Trump's victory a little over 4
months after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union,
symbolizes a rise of populism across the West.
"For me it's about not just the inauguration of Trump, but about the
rise of right wing populism across Western Europe and the US, and
Trump's inauguration is a celebration of that," Jac St John, 26, a
doctoral student from London, who unfurled one of the banners.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Luke Bridges; editing by Kate
Holton and Guy Faulconbridge, Ralph Boulton)
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