Protests were already underway in Helsinki on Sunday as President Donald Trump left Scotland, bound for the Finnish capital ahead of his Monday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sunday’s demonstrations capped a weekend in which the US president drew protests no matter where he went – whether in Finland, in London or even at his own golf resort in Turnberry, Scotland.
‘He is dangerous’
Finnish Demonstrators gathered for a colorful and peaceful protest in Senate Square in central Helsinki, carrying signs, giving speeches and making their opposition known to the US-Russia summit.
“USA & Russia, you did not send your best,” read Hammu Jaakkola’s sign. “You sent leaders that have lots of problems. They’re bringing crimes against humanity.” The sign added, “Some of you, I assume, are good people” – a reference to Trump’s disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants.
Protesters in Helsinki came out to champion any number of causes they see as being under siege by Trump or Putin.
There were human rights groups protesting Trump’s policy of separating children at the US-Mexico border, environmentalist groups protesting the Trump administration’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Accords, and others who were protesting Russia’s policies and actions in Ukraine.
Niina, 27, and Semmi, 21, brought with them a sign of Trump’s face inside the triangular recycling logo. “Please recycle,” it said. “He is dangerous for the environment and for all of us.”
The women, who did not give their last names, showed up to the protests to “have their voices heard,” they told CNN.
“Trump and Putin don’t represent what we in Finland stand for,” Niina said. “All people in Finland are free.”
‘You can’t trust him’
On Saturday, demonstrators in Edinburgh, Scotland marched from the Scottish Parliament and past the US Consulate to a large park for what they dubbed a “Carnival of Resistance.”
“I think Trump represents everything we try to teach our children is wrong,” said Paul Trotter of Edinburgh. “This is why we are out today. You can’t trust him.”
A giant “Trump baby” balloon, which turned heads outside the British Parliament in London the day before, made another appearance in Edinburgh.
Frances Worley-Watt, 35, of Atlanta, went to the protests with her Scottish husband and their daughter, who has joint US-UK citizenship, Worley-Watt said.
“I have seen the marches in the US on TV,” she said, “and have been there in spirit, so I wanted to use this opportunity to march in solidarity.”
Police in Scotland arrested a paragliding protester who flew surprisingly close to Trump at his golf resort Friday evening, trailing a banner that read,” TRUMP, WELL BELOW PAR #RESIST.”
‘United in our hope’
The protest in London on Friday was one of the biggest in the city since a million people rallied against the Iraq war in 2003.
People of all ages and ethnicities joined the march, as chants rose up from crowds: “Say it loud, say it clear, Donald Trump’s not welcome here.”
They had plenty of complaints, from Trump’s attitude toward women to the family separations at the US border and other issues.
“Resist!” cried Julia Lalla Maharaj, a women’s rights activists. “We have had enough. We have got to stand up because now is the time.”
“I’m here because I think Donald Trump is the most destructive force in the world today,” said retired teacher John Malone, who took a chartered bus from Bristol – about 118 miles (190 km) west of London – to join the protests.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn even joined in at a rally in Trafalgar Square to help deliver the crowd’s message:
“We are united in our hope for a world of justice, not division,” Corbyn said. “We are united in our hope to end racism and misogyny, we are united in hope for all our diversity.”
There also was a smaller pro-Trump rally in London on Saturday near the US Embassy.
CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, Dominique van Heerden, Sheena McKenzie, Laura Smith-Spark, Angela Dewan, Erin McLaughlin and journalist Rory Smith contributed to this report.