President Trump UK Visit: The Right To Protest In Pictures

President Trump UK Visit: The Right To Protest In Pictures

US President Donald Trump’s first state visit to the UK prompted hundreds of thousands of people across the country to take to the streets in protest.  

It was a bold celebration of the right to protest, one of our most fundamental human rights, something the American leader previously called “unfair” when he was first elected.

The march wasn’t just about our right to protest though, with demonstrators sporting a number of signs about some of our most crucial freedoms and protections.

Here we take a look back at a few.

‘No Trumpery’

Image Credit: Aaron Walawalkar

The president came under heavy criticism after announcing his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, an international UN treaty ratified by 185 countries to reduce carbon emissions, two years ago.

He has also given the green light to the construction of an oil pipeline that runs partly through the American state of North Dakota despite environmental and cultural concerns.

On women’s rights, a huge feminist backlash was prompted during his election campaign when a tape surfaced in which he talked about grabbing women “by the p***y”, as well as other derogatory remarks.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Image Credit: Aaron Walawalkar

President Trump provoked further controversy after expressing his “strongly pro-life” views after the state of Alabama passed a bill banning abortion in cases including incest and rape.

Here, a protestor dresses in the style of characters from Margaret Atwood’s best-selling novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, in which women are forced into sexual servitude in an effort to repopulate a devastated and dystopian world run by a totalitarian regime.

Her placard argues the banning of abortion will force women to seek out unsafe, illegal and unregulated services.

‘Statue Of Liberty’

Scenes outside Buckingham Palace during President Trumps visit on June 3. Image Credit: Ollie Cole

While hundreds of thousands of people gathered across the country to critique and condemn President Trump’s policies and human rights record, pockets of Trump-supporters also donned elaborate costumes and came out in public.

Here, a woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty likens the president’s fiery personality to the flame of freedom.

‘Keep Your Tiny Hands Off Our NHS’

Image Credit: Aaron Walawalkar

The right to healthcare is enshrined in Article 25 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the UK ratified in 1976. It is primarily upheld in the UK through the post-war institution of the NHS, granting citizens free access to healthcare at the point of use.

The UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union has fuelled talks of an enhanced free trade deal with the United States, under which many fear the “NHS would be on the table”.

After initially confirming their suspicions at a press conference with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May – President Trump then backtracked in an exclusive interview with ITV’s Piers Morgan.

‘We Love Immigrants – They Make Great Scapegoats’

Image Credit: Aaron Walawalkar

From his travel ban on mostly-Muslim countries to his bid to build a wall across the Mexican border, President Trump has been criticised heavily for his policies towards immigrants. Earlier this year, the president pushed over one thousand asylum-seekers at the Mexico border back into Mexico.

Here the placards take aim at outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May too, who in 2012 introduced a set of “hostile environment” policies set to make life more difficult for undocumented persons living in the UK. This notably gave rise to the Windrush scandal, which saw a generation of people from the Caribbean threatened with deportation.


Image Credit: Aaron Walawalkar

This protester’s message is short and simple, taking a broad critique of President Trump’s policies. We mostly included it for the tremendous effort put into cross-stitching both the placard and T-shirt, a type of protest we see less often these days.

Help us increase understanding and support for human rights in the UK.

About the Author

Aaron Walawalkar

News and Digital Editor
Aaron is an NCTJ-accredited multimedia journalist focussing on human rights. His extensive reporting on rough sleeping in east London has been nominated for multiple awards. He has worked for regional and national newspapers and produced illustrations, infographics and videos for humanitarian organisation RedR UK. View all posts by Aaron Walawalkar.
President Trump UK Visit: The Right To Protest In Pictures
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