Digital activist Morten Skovgaard, founder of the Facebook Page “Bring Trump Baby to Denmark!” has struck a deal with US activists to bring a protest balloon to Copenhagen for Trump's September 2 state visit.
“We have confirmation from the US group that the balloon is available, and they are working on the logistical aspects,” Skovgaard told The Local. “I'm not at all worried about the crowdfunding, as I've already been contacted by company owners who are willing to pay the entire cost of bringing the balloon to Denmark.”
The balloon, first flown during protests against Trump's UK visit in July last year, has since followed the president on state visits to France and Argentina, and to cities across the US.
The caricature of Donald Trump in a nappy with a smartphone in his hand clearly angers the US president.
“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” he told The Sun newspaper ahead of his 2018 visit. “I used to love London as a city. I haven’t been there in a long time. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?”
Skovgaard told The Local he hoped that the balloon would make it difficult for Trump's media backers to present him as popular in Denmark during his visit.
“It's like a giant, helium-inflated middle finger to Trump,” he said. “Having this big giant yellow blimp, it's pretty difficult for them to ignore it, or edit it out of frame in the way they want to.”
“We know for a fact that the US president hates everything that steals attention away from him.”
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Skovgaard said the response since he launched his Facebook page on Thursday had been “pretty fucking massive”.
“I set up the group on Thursday and today we are at more than 7,000 people, we will probably reach 10,000 in a few days. The other Trump demonstrations are at about 15,000 people so this one definitely stole all the media attention.”
But he said he aimed to support rather than rival other protests, such as a Dump Trump protest and one being organised by the Socialist Left Party.
“This balloon is a pretty great way to rally people behind a banner and give them something to do, to inflate them and give them a lot of attention. I see it as a vehicle for people to get behind,” he said.
“In terms of numbers, I have no idea how many people will be protesting in Copenhagen, but this balloon will definitely help get some momentum behind the whole protest organisation. My hope is that this balloon will have more people turn out.”
Morten Skovgaard, who describes himself as a 'digital activist', does social media and photography for the Copenhell festival, amongst other things. Photo: Morten Skovgaard
He hit back at criticism that the balloon was a shallow, stupid form of protest.
“Some would say it's childish: 'aren't you stooping to his level?'. But it needs to be because it needs to mirror the president's behaviour in the White House. The Trump administration changed the rules of how you address your political opponents and new measures are required if you want to have an effective voice against them”.
The original balloon was designed by UK graphic artist Matt Bonner, and its manufacture was then crowdfunded by the UK protest group The Baby Sitters. The US protest group, the Baby Trump Adoption Service, then crowdfunded the creation of six balloons, one of which is coming to Denmark.
Skovgaard plans on Monday to speak to Danish police and other authorities about getting permission to fly the balloon.