The Trump Baby Balloon took to the air on 13 July as a protest against the US president's visit to the UK. Responses to the phenomenon ranged from amused to outraged. Those in the latter party have decided to test Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s commitment to freedom of speech by asking whether he will also give permission for a 'Baby Khan' balloon to be raised.
It was not until the petition to fly the Trump balloon had 16,000 signatures that Khan gave it his blessing. So far, Yanny Bruere – initiator of this latest protest – has garnered less than a quarter of that amount. But critics of the London mayor have certainly made themselves heard, with an initial target to raise £10,000 quickly reached, and £50,000 donated in less than a week. The total raised now stands at over £59,000, but the target for the balloon to fly remains at £75,000.
Bruere has stated that any surplus money will go towards a ‘Make London Safe Again’ event, and a campaign to have Sadiq Khan removed from office. Sadiq Khan responded to news of the balloon in an ITV broadcast, saying: ‘If people want to spend their Saturday looking at me in a yellow bikini they’re welcome to do so – I don’t really think yellow’s my colour though.’
The decision for the balloon to depict Khan wearing a yellow bikini came in response to the banning of a series of Protein World adverts from public transport across London in 2016. Khan backed the removal of the ads, which featured a toned woman wearing a yellow bikini and the slogan: ‘Are you beach body ready?’.
As long as a protest 'is peaceful and safe', Khan says, then it's fine with him.
|What||A Sadiq Khan balloon takes to the sky|
|Nearest tube||Westminster (underground)|