Before the weekend, news broke that someone had organised a protest against Sadiq Khan which was going to involve blowing up a massive balloon of him in the middle of central London.
Featured Image VIA
Pretty effective protest right? Well, only if people actually turn up. Despite the fact that 9000 people were interested on Facebook and people had contributed £58,000 to the manufacture of the balloon, only about 300 people showed up on Saturday morning. That’s a bit embarrassing and there were claims that Khan had sabotaged the protest by forcing it to happen in the morning and not the afternoon. Maybe that’s true – if so it’s a pretty neat way to limit its effect for sure.
Nevertheless, the balloon was inflated and displayed for a couple of hours from 9:30am until 11:30 am and a bunch of protesters – many of them know members of the far right – turned up to chant and cheer or whatever it is that you do at a protest. Organiser Yanny Bruere explained the mentality behind him setting up the event:
It was a tit for tat move after the Donald Trump one and I wanted to see if Sadiq Khan was willing to commit the same mockery onto himself, as he was quite willingly onto Donald Trump.
It grew so much, it raised £50,000 in six days, it grew so quickly I think he didn’t have a choice. The humour of Sadiq Khan having to approve a giant blimp of himself, that was another angle to it, I thought that would be quite funny.
There is a humorous aspect but it’s trying to raise a serious point, which is Make London Safe Again. Obviously we’ve seen unprecedented crime levels since Sadiq Khan took office. This year, 100 people have died already since January.
It was about drawing attention through the humour of the balloon but giving out a strong message that’s very important for London at this moment.
Glad he cleared that up then. Might have been better received if more people had showed up though I guess.
Despite the fact there weren’t that many people, it got a bit angry/violent when one man confronted some of them about trashing a socialist bookstore a couple of weeks ago:
Got pretty nasty this. Crowd have rounded on a man who appears to have confronted two men over an incident that saw far-right storm Bookmarks Bookshop a few weeks ago. pic.twitter.com/CQNZ448aIu
— James Dawson (@TheJayToday) September 1, 2018
Grim. Apparently everyone started calling him a paedophile and he was forced to leave shortly after this. So it goes.
Sounds like there was a hostile vibe throughout it, but I suppose the minority got their point across. Not quite as successful as the Trump protest it sought to emulate though unfortunately. Better luck next time.
For more of the same, check out the Donald Trump balloon again. That picture never gets old.