On Monday night, tens of thousands of people turned out onto the streets of Britain’s cities to protest Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policy – and to call on our Prime Minister, Theresa May, to take a stand against her new pal.
Trump signed an executive order on Friday blocking citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq) from entering the US for 90 days. Syrian refugees are now barred from the US indefinitely, while Christian refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East have been given priority over Muslims.
May, a self-professed friend of Trump, has been slow to criticise his “extreme vetting” order. She repeatedly refused to comment on what many are describing as a ‘Muslim ban’ at a press conference on Saturday, and only released a statement saying that her government does “not agree with this kind of approach” on Sunday after facing mounting pressure from MPs.
In major cities in England, Scotland and Wales, protestors showed up to condemn Trump’s travel ban, as well as May’s reluctance to speak out. There was anger, of course – but, in true British style, the signs carried by marchers also contained a sizeable helping of dark humour (and swearing).
From Glasgow to Manchester, London to Cardiff, here are some very British responses to an international problem.
Anti-Trump demonstrations took place across Scotland on Monday night. The half-Scottish Trump has a long and fractious relationship with the country of his mother’s birth: he owns golf courses in Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire, and has fought against the Scottish government’s plans to build wind farms off the country’s north-eastern coast.
At the rally in George Square, Glasgow, our favourite signs deployed Scottish vernacular to maximum effect.
The below sign translates loosely as: “I’m going to throw a chapati at your head, you idiot”.
Thousands of people joined forces in Manchester’s Albert Square to show their opposition to Trump’s travel ban.
One of our favourite signs invoked the British love of a good strong brew, stating: “Nothing we need less than a weak T.”
Another placard noted that mums are almost always right...
… while another drew on playground rhymes to slam the queasy “special relationship” between Trump and May.
Thousands more protestors hit the streets in Wales, in cities including Swansea, Bangor and Aberystwyth. In Cardiff, some of the best signs were written in Welsh.
This marcher was so incensed by Trump that they were prepared to skip an episode of their favourite TV show (Pobol y Cwm, or People of the Valley, is a long-running Welsh-language soap opera).
This sign translates, simply, as “Wales says no to Trump”:
Another marcher did the translation work for us:
More than 20% of Brummies identify as Muslim (compared to less than 5% of people in England and Wales overall), and Monday night saw hundreds of Muslims and non-Muslims alike congregate in the city’s Victoria Square.
This woman used the most British of icons to express her displeasure:
While this sign got straight to the point:
About 10,000 people were thought to have marched on Downing Street on Monday night. Brits are famous for their ability to deploy swearwords to great effect, and the stand-out banners at the London protests were lewd, crude, and hilarious.
Some old-fashioned British incredulity:
A polite request for our Prime Minister:
Some particularly cutting descriptions of Trump:
And finally, this banner – affixed to the statue of WWI commander Earl Haig – described Trump in the most London way possible:
Main image: Rex Features