Thousands gather in Glasgow and London to protest Donald Trump visit

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Thousands of protesters gathered in towns and cities across the UK today to demonstrate against Donald Trump’s visit to the country.

The largest protest was in London where an estimated 250,000 people took part in an organised march through the capital.

Police estimated around 1,500 people had gathered in George Square in Glasgow to protest against the visit of Donald Trump. Picture: PA

Police estimated around 1,500 people had gathered in George Square in Glasgow to protest against the visit of Donald Trump. Picture: PA

Events in the city had begun with the unveiling of the “Trump baby blimp” in Parliament Square, a large balloon crowdfunded by campaigners furious that Mr Trump was being welcomed to the UK.

The biggest protest in Scotland was in Glasgow where police estimated around 1,500 people had assembled in George Square, while a smaller demonstration took place in Dundee’s City Square.

Among those in attendance in Glasgow were SNP depute leader Keith Brown, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard and Scottish Greens co-convenor Patrick Harvie.

“I want to show there is a broad political cross-section of opposition to the Donald Trump visit,” Mr Leonard told The Scotsman.

The demonstration took place at 5pm, with many protesters brandishing homemade placards

The demonstration took place at 5pm, with many protesters brandishing homemade placards

“We think Theresa May was wrong in issuing an invitation to Donald Trump and we want to show the people of Scotland do not consent to his visit.

“Today is a day for saying there is unity across parties in opposition to everything Donald Trump stands for, whether it’s his misogyny, his racism, his views on climate change, his views on workers’ rights, these are all things we can unite around in our opposition.”

READ MORE: Holyrood protesters refused permission to fly Trump baby blimp

Among those who had travelled to Glasgow to take part in the protest was Louise Kowalska, a trade union official from Edinburgh.

“I felt the need to protest against the decision for him to be allowed into the country,” she said. “It’s an embarrassment to the Queen, being made to have tea with him.

“I can’t see why a person who holds such vile views should be allowed to just arrive in the UK with ease. Think of the forms we have to have fill in, if we want to visit the United States.”

Mr Harvie was attending the protest in Glasgow while his fellow Greens co-convenor, Maggie Chapman, will attend the demonstration taking place in Edinburgh tomorrow.

“On one level, everybody here wants to get together and share an expression of our revulsion against the values that Donald Trump represents,” he said.

“But I think, more importantly than that, people in the US who are directly threatened by this man and his politics, they need to see there are people in the UK who stand with them. Our special relationship is with the people of the US, not with a president who threatens them as well as other people around the world.”

In London, aerial views broadcast on the BBC showed densely packed crowds filling the shopping district near Oxford Circus before a rally at Trafalgar Square.

Organisers of the Together Against Trump mass demonstration estimated that more than 100,000 protesters had joined the march by mid-afternoon Friday.

Protesters chanted “Donald Trump’s not welcome here.” Among them was actress Laura Carmichael, who played Lady Edith Crawley in TV Series Downton Abbey.