Thousands protest as Trump takes to Scotland’s golf course

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Glasgow, July 14 (IANS) Thousands of people took to the streets of Edinburgh on a second day of protests against US President Donald Trump who teed off on the fairways of his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland.

About 10,000 were expected at the demonstration in Scotland’s capital on Saturday. Trump, his wife Melania and their family were on a private visit at the resort in Ayrshire ahead of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

Protesters walked from the Scottish Parliament to the Meadows for a “carnival of resistance”. Hundreds more gathered as close as they were allowed at Trump’s Turnberry resort, where lines of police officers ringed the area, the BBC reported.

The US leader and his wife touched down at the Prestwick Airport at 10.10 p.m. on Friday after he completed his two-day working trip to the UK.

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His trip to Scotland has been accompanied by a major security operation. Police snipers were positioned on tiers of temporary scaffolding overlooking the golf course, with a large number of other officers patrolling the grounds and surrounding area.

Just as Trump entered the resort on Friday evening, a paragliding protester breached a no-fly zone, coming close to the hotel. The aircraft held a banner reading: “Trump: well below par #resist”.

Police said that they were trying to trace the individual involved. The stunt was staged by Greenpeace and it later said it had alerted police to the protest minutes in advance.

The group’s spokesman Ben Stewart said: “Theresa May (Prime Minister) should not have dignified Trump with a visit to the UK. The vast majority of British people are appalled by his words and deeds. He is, simply, the worst President ever. That’s why we flew over him with a message branding him well below par.”

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The Edinburgh event also featured the giant Trump Baby balloon, which was banned from both Turnberry and Holyrood. Thousands of people protested in London on Friday against Trump’s UK visit.

Protesters also filled George Square in Glasgow ahead of his arrival in Scotland.

Trump is not expected to meet First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has been his vocal critic. Sturgeon was expected to lead thousands of marchers at the Pride Glasgow march.

Before Scotland, Trump met Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II in the UK. Trump had said in London that a US-UK trade deal “will absolutely be possible”, hours after he told The Sun tabloid that May’s Brexit plan could kill the agreement.

Trump has often spoken of his love for Scotland and its people and had been a regular visitor to the country for many years, but this was his first trip since becoming President.

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He will leave Scotland on Sunday from where he will travel to Finland to hold talks with the Russian President.

–IANS

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