'Dump Trump': Thousands join London protest

A protester waves the US flag during the Women's March in Trafalgar Square in London on Jan 21, 2017.
A protester waves the US flag during the Women's March in Trafalgar Square in London on Jan 21, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday (Jan 21) as part of a global day of protests against new US President Donald Trump and his derogatory remarks about women.

The largely female crowd, which also had many men and children, marched from the US embassy to Trafalgar Square, chanting "dump Trump" and waving banners demanding equal rights.

"Trump Special Relationship: Just Say No" and "Our Rights Are Not For Grabs - Neither Are We" were among the banners held aloft, along with "We shall overcomb" and "Make bigotry wrong again".

Hannah Bryant, a 34-year-old museum worker, brought her four-year-old daughter - both of them wearing bright pink "pussyhats" worn by US demonstrators.

"I've been teaching her about equality and prejudice, and I wanted her to see how many people believe in it," she said.

Oliver Powell, a 31-year-old actor, who called the new US president a "hideous person", said: "I want the majority of Americans who didn't vote for him to know they have support across the world." "You can't believe he's real," said his friend, 36-year-old Emily Chase.

Many marchers were mothers and daughters, joining unionists, feminist groups and rights organisations.

London mayor Sadiq Khan and his wife Saadiya were at the square, as were celebrities such as Iron Man 3 actress Rebecca Hall.

Media reported as many as 100,000 gathered outside the US Embassy in the city's exclusive Mayfair district, bearing placards attacking Mr Trump's stance on women, minorities, climate change and gay rights. 

The women-led march was touted as an all-inclusive demonstration.

Metropolitan police officers barricaded some of the busiest areas in the city, keeping traffic at bay, while protesters made their way to the historic Trafalgar Square for a rally. 

 

"It's a feeling of solidarity - not in our name," said Jill Pickering, a 56-year-old American student. "I'm angry - I didn't vote for Trump."

"For me it's a message of hope," said her friend Sarah Macdonald, a 51-year-old company director.

"I think that this is going to galvanise the liberal parties, the Democrats (in the US) and the leftist parties in this country that have suffered electoral defeat. What do we have left? Protest."

Their friend Kirstin Hadley, a 43-year-old lawyer, added: "We have to come out and say we won't accept this. You cannot be apathetic any more."