Last Friday, over 100,000 people poured into London’s streets to celebrate my birthday. Oh damn, I mean, protest Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom.
You’ve probably already seen a lot of photo collections of the best signs, my favourite is, of course, the one I reference in the blog title. There was anger, humour, and an all-around disgust for everything Donald Trump represents, right down to his bad manners.
But I want to note something from my personal experience at the march: it was jubilant.
For the most part, the sentiments inscribed upon all those placards are shared by the rest of the country. Even among political elites, the revulsion is apparent for all to see despite some masking it in diplomatic language. I have this enormous privilege as an American abroad knowing that I will almost never encounter a challenge to my anti-Trump beliefs when I step out into the world. So, like the Women’s March in 2017, this protest didn’t feel like it was up against insurmountable opposition. Nearly everyone agrees, so we’re all just showing up to reaffirm and feel encouraged from each other’s presence.
The mood I saw was so happy and relaxed that as I zipped in and out of the march down Regent’s Street I saw a number of protesters taking breaks in the pubs. In any other situation, you might baulk at having a bunch of protesters flocking to your establishment for a pint, but not this one.
The second thing I want to note is the presence of Americans at this march. I didn’t get to talk to any, but London is an international city that many Americans currently call home. We have a lot of feelings about watching our home go up in flames from the outside. For my part, there have been many days where I watched protests happening in the States and felt guilty for only being able to tweet my support. So this day was an opportunity for us to show solidarity with our people and let them know we’re not idle.
Take a look at some of my Instagram photos and tell me if there were any signs you’ve seen in the media that you particularly liked!