The Trump baby blimp is back

Someone call a babysitter.
Someone call a babysitter.
Image: AP Photo/Robert Stevens
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The Donald Trump baby blimp will soar over London skies once again.

The 20-foot, orange-tinged inflatable, which first appeared during the US president’s visit to the UK last year, will appear over parliament tomorrow (June 4), when he is scheduled to meet with outgoing prime minister Theresa May.

The balloon, which depicts a diaper-wearing, cellphone-clutching Trump, irked the US president when it appeared last year. In an interview with The Sun tabloid, Trump cited it as one reason he spent almost no time in London then. “I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” he said.

Trump largely avoided the tens of thousands of people protesting his trip to the UK last year. But that will prove harder this time around, with demonstrations planned at Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and the US embassy. Protests are also being planned across Ireland for Trump’s visit there later this week.

The team behind the blimp said they would fly the inflatable once more if they raised £30,000 ($37,500) for six groups—including Planned Parenthood and the UK Student Climate Network—to fund their organizing work fighting Trump policies in the UK and US. They hit that target, raising £34,516 and counting.

“We know Trump isn’t a joke—he is responsible for rampant xenophobia, sexism and transphobia, and the creeping rise of far right politics,” wrote Anna Vickerstaff, one of the Trump blimp babysitters, in The Independent. “But if flying a balloon caricature is what gets under his skin—then that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan reportedly approved the blimp’s flight over London. Khan disagrees with the UK’s decision to “roll out the red carpet” for the US president, whose three-day state visit includes a meeting with the royal family, a state banquet at Buckingham Palace, and a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day. In response, Trump called the London mayor a “stone cold loser” on Twitter before he landed at Stansted Airport this morning.

The blimp is just one of a number of creative responses to the president’s visit. Greeting Trump as he flew in today was a giant penis, polar bear, and the words “climate change is real” etched into the grass by an 18-year-old at his home in Essex, under the flight path of Air Force One. Other actions include knitters saying “balls to Trump,” anti-Trump banners, and a projection onto Big Ben of comments critical about Trump by Boris Johnson, whom Trump has supported to replace May as prime minister.

The blimp has become such a pop culture phenomenon that the Museum of London is looking to potentially add it to its collection.

—Heather Timmons contributed to this post. 

Correction: An earlier version of this article said over 30 protests were planned for Trump’s arrival in Ireland instead of 30 groups who were planning to participate in protests.