As President Donald Trump visited Belgium for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Brussels to tell America's commander-in-chief he wasn't welcome.
In Brussels, the place Trump once called a “hellhole” during a Fox Business Network interview, the president and his wife, Melania Trump, met with King Philippe and Queen Matilda at the Palace of Brussels, then later with Prime Minister Charles Michel. Out in the streets, however, protesters held anti-Trump signs, including one that said: “Trump says Brussels is a hellhole. Brussels says Trump is an a**-hole.”
Following an earlier march, more protesters kept on showing up. Police say more demonstrations are expected to take place throughout the night.
At least 100 activists dressed as Statues of Liberty also participated in the protest.
To student and protester Lauren Clark, 26, being part of the march was important because people in Saudi Arabia, where Trump made his first stop, don't have free speech rights.
“In Europe we can protest and let him know what we feel,” Clark told reporters.
Teacher Leigh Redemer, 31, was also present, saying that Trump “embodies the absolute opposite of everything America is supposed to stand for. He has such a large ego that this sort of demonstration hurts him. It actually matters.”
Mexican-Belgian cartoon animator Indi Orozco, 36, told reporters he felt compelled to protest against Trump for a variety of reasons.
“I am here for many reasons, too many to say. Everything from the racism towards Mexicans and Muslims to the incompetence of his administration,” he stated.
Iverna McGowan, director of the Amnesty International European Institutions Office, said she believes the anti-Trump march sends a strong message to the president.
“From the travel ban, to attacks on women’s rights, to the planned Mexican border wall, [Trump] has overseen an onslaught of hateful and divisive policies,” McGowan stated.
This march shows Trump exactly how Europeans see his agenda.
During Trump's meeting with Michel, the president talked about the U.S.-led fight against terrorism saying, “We will win.”
Adding that “[w]e are in a terrible situation,” the president claimed terrorism was the No. 1 priority on the list of issues he'd like to discuss with the Belgian prime minister.
Despite the Trump’s strong words, it's important to note that the president won't be successful in truly fighting terrorism if he won't even admit that one of his closest Middle Eastern allies is, in fact, a great sponsor of terrorism.
By securing a major weapons deal with Saudi Arabia and by blindly supporting its anti-Iran crusade, Trump sends a message that he isn't entirely against supporting terrorism if his allies are the ones doing it.
Quite the hypocrite.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters