This week, after having first gone to a NATO summit in Belgium, U.S. President Donald Trump paid the United Kingdom a visit. The visit came after months of back and forth over the specifics of the trip; one factor that weighed on negotiations was the pending large anti-Trump protest presence. It’s not like British people are particularly fond of Trump more than many Americans are.
Well, in at least one instance during the days surrounding Trump’s visit, the protests got, literally, huge. The British outlet Dazed partnered with a New York group called The Illuminator, which — in line with its name — “illuminates” the sides of major buildings with protest messages. As a part of the group’s cooperation with Dazed, they broadcast a huge message reading simply “No Trump” onto the side of London’s Nelson’s Column on the night of July 10.
Check it out below.
The outlet paired the anti-Trump message with a message calling out British Prime Minister Theresa May for failing to act to help British students through the burgeoning British student debt crisis.
Although the anti-Trump message was a part of a broad criticism of the British government and not just one of the U.S., over in the States, the Trump administration has certainly stumbled its way through similar issues.
For instance, the Department of Education, led by Trump appointee Betsy DeVos, has sought to dial back consumer protections against harmful student loan company practices. It’s in line with a broad push for deregulation on the part of the Trump administration, but just as in the case of environmental regulations that have been slashed, it’s not without consequence. The change leaves students in the U.S. still struggling under the weight of whatever a profit driven educational institution happens to dream up.
The mess at the Department of Education is hardly the only Trump administration policy point worthy of criticism. In conjunction to Trump’s visit to the U.K., British people fed up with the U.S. president’s behavior came up with clever protest methods in addition to the message Dazed put up.
A campaign revved up in the lead-up to Trump’s visit to get the Green Day song “American Idiot” to the top of the British charts in conjunction to the controversial president making his way in the country, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan — who has sparred with the Trump administration in the past — approved activists’ plans to fly a giant balloon depicting Trump as a crying baby near Parliament during his time in the country.
There’s a clever undertone to the message Dazed put up, too — the monument known as Nelson’s Column is actually controversial in its own right, because the man it’s meant to honor, Admiral Horatio Nelson, was a white supremacist who adamantly defended the slave trade.
Trump has had his own run-ins with accusations of white supremacy during his time in office, having incorporated racist tenets into his policy platform while repeatedly failing to call out white supremacy when given the chance.
The protests, then — which include plenty of street demonstrations — are certainly on point; for now, though, the United States has by all appearances at least two more years of the shameful Trump administration.
Featured Image via Matthew Horwood/Getty Images