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    'Building Bridges, Not Walls' campaign, Waterloo Bridge, London

    Banners Dropped From Bridges on 'Trump Day' to Protest Rise of Far-Right

    © Photo : bridgesnotwalls.uk
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    Groups of demonstrators dropped banners from bridges along London's River Thames - as well as others across the globe - in protest against the "demonization" of migrants, Mexicans and Muslims by US President-elect Donald Trump and the rise of far-right parties in Europe.

    The campaign, "Bridges not Walls" began following the election of Trump which the organizers say was driven by "hate and fear, lies and division" marking the "most significant moment yet" in the rise of a new far-right politics in Western democracies.

    "We are dropping banners with positive messages across all these bridges in London today and all across the world. We are doing this to show our support for groups under attack her in the UK and across Europe to reject what we feel is the rise of the far-right," Nona Hurkmans, spokesperson for Bridges not Walls told Sputnik, January 20.

    'Building Bridges, Not Walls' campaign, Waterloo Bridge, London
    © Photo : bridgesnotwalls.uk
    'Building Bridges, Not Walls' campaign, Waterloo Bridge, London

    "This isn't just about Donald Trump, but his inauguration has definitely given us the occasion to protest and he has used very ugly language that we find unacceptable, like threatening to build a wall on the south border of the US, having a Muslim registry or having a Muslim ban. Those are things we find very divisive and hateful and we think affect people's rights and everyday lives," she told Sputnik.

    'Migrants Welcome Here' banner hanging over Westminster Bridge, London
    © Photo : bridgesnotwalls.uk
    'Migrants Welcome Here' banner hanging over Westminster Bridge, London

    The campaigners say Trump's rise on the back of the "politics of fear and hatred" has spread to Europe where they say many politicians, public figures, and media platforms in the UK and Europe have failed to stand and oppose it. "Trump has demonized migrants, Mexicans and Muslims," the website states.

    Trump told his supporters Thursday night (January 19) he would unify the US and make the country great "for all of our people," many of whom saw him as the antidote to the establishment and giving them a voice in Washington.

    "Even in the run-up to the Brexit vote, very ugly language was being used. I'm thinking about Nigel Farage putting up that billboard with a picture of a queue of immigrants with the words 'Breaking Point' on them. That's very hateful language, very divisive and also it has had an effect," Hurkmans told Sputnik.

    "We've seen recorded hate crimes go up and now also Theresa May saying that she wants to prioritize cutting down on immigration in her Brexit negotiations. We really feel that things are headed south," Hurkmans added.

    The initiative began as the brainchild of Hastings, England, ice cream man and homeless shelter worker Will Stevens, in the aftermath of the US election result. It has rapidly gained momentum and is now being backed by a growing number of existing activisy and community groups, as well as larger campaign organizations who share anxiety about recent political events both in Europe and in the US.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters flocked to Washington D.C. to watch the inauguration.

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    Tags:
    far-right groups, Muslims, islamophobia, protest, migrants, immigration, Trump's inauguration, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Washington, United States, United Kingdom, London
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