Donald Trump inauguration: American flag burned in Philippines as protests against new US President sweep world

Thousands expected to take to the streets as Mr Trump is sworn in

Lizzie Dearden
Friday 20 January 2017 10:01 GMT
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Global protests at Trump inauguration include flag-burning in the Philippines

Protesters have burned a US flag as demonstrations against Donald Trump’s inauguration sweep the globe.

Police pepper sprayed crowds clashing outside the “DeploraBall” held by the incoming President’s supporters in Washington.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the National Press Club in Washington, booing ball-goers coming in and out of the event in tuxedos and dresses.

Read live updates from the inauguration here

Watch Trump sing along to Lee Greenwood's 'God Bless the USA' at inauguration concert

One man waving a pro-Trump flag had debris thrown at him and was chased to the nearby Warner Theater, where Fox News Channel presenters Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera happened to be waiting to go into another event.

​Hannity waved his fist at hecklers, while Rivera laughed before entering the theatre.

It came after Hollywood stars including Julianne Moore, Robert De Niro and Alec Baldwin made speeches at a large protest outside the Trump International Hotel in New York.

Demonstrations took an angrier tone in the Philippines, were protesters burned an American flag outside the US embassy in Manila.

More than 200 activists called for an end to American troops in the country, demanding President Rodrigo Duterte keeps his promise of charting a foreign policy independent of the US.

The pair have spoken on the phone, with Mr Duterte claiming Mr Trump praised his ongoing war on drugs, which has killed thousands of people and sparked international alarm.

Mr Duterte called Barack Obama the “son of a whore” last year for criticising human rights abuses and has sent his national security adviser and press secretary to attend the new President’s inauguration.

Protesters, prevented by troops from getting close to the US embassy’s gate, were alarmed by the cordial relationship between the two leaders.

“Obama sugar-coated imperialism but Trump has shown an in-your-face kind of imperialism,” said protest leader Renato Reyes, of the left-wing Bayan group, adding that Mr Duterte “should stick to his independent foreign policy”.

Hundreds of protesters, most of them expatriate Americans, held an anti-Trump protest in Tokyo on Friday.

Some people held up electric candles and others carried placards reading “Love Trump's Hate” and “Women's Rights Are Human Rights”, as they marched along a central street.

A woman holds a banner during a march to thank outgoing President Barack Obama and reject US President-elect Donald Trump before his inauguration at a park in Tokyo, Japan, 20 January 2017.
A woman holds a banner during a march to thank outgoing President Barack Obama and reject US President-elect Donald Trump before his inauguration at a park in Tokyo, Japan, 20 January 2017. (EPA)

“The Trump presidency gets my blood boiling ..everything we value could be gone. It's time to speak your mind and concerns and to do our best to salvage the values we cherish in America,” Bill Scholer, an art teacher, told a Reuters reporter.

“I grew up in the 1960s, and it feels like we are going backwards, and am very worried that we will lose all of the advances we have made over these years,” said Holly Thompson, a writer.

Palestinians have also been alarmed by the prospect of Mr Trump’s presidency after he spoke out against a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Hundreds of protesters waving Palestinian flags took to the streets of the West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday, while more Palestinians protested near the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim on Friday.

They were voicing their opposition to Mr Trump’s pledge to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is split between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and claimed by both as the capital.

His choice for Israeli ambassador is David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who has raised millions of dollars for the Beit El settlement, while the foundation run by the family of Mr Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has also supported Beit El.

Mr Trump himself has donated money to a Jewish seminary in there through his foundation and invited a settler group, the Yesha Council, to his inauguration.

Palestinian demonstrators protesting this week against a promise by Donald Trump to re-locate the US embassy to Jerusalem
Palestinian demonstrators protesting this week against a promise by Donald Trump to re-locate the US embassy to Jerusalem (Reuters)

For decades, US presidents have joined the international community in condemning the settlements, which are regarded as illegal as international law, as obstacles to the peace process.

In London, a banner was unfurled on Tower Bridge ahead of Mr Trump’s inauguration on Friday, reading: “Act now! Build bridges not walls”.

Protesters also draped banners on other bridges in the capital including Vauxhall Bridge, where the Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants “in solidarity with folks affected by rising far-right”.

Protests are due to be staged in a number of British cities, including London, Edinburgh, Brighton and Manchester.

Banners were dropped from the side of Edinburgh's North Bridge while anti-trump campaigners will march to the US Consulate later on Friday.

Mr Trump has strong links to the country and last visited in June 2016 during the US election campaign.

He is expected to use the bible given to him by his Scottish mother, alongside one that once belonged to Abraham Lincoln, during his inauguration.

A banner unfurled on Tower Bridge in London as part of the Bridges Not Walls protest against US President Donald Trump on the day of his inauguration.
A banner unfurled on Tower Bridge in London as part of the Bridges Not Walls protest against US President Donald Trump on the day of his inauguration. (PA)

Countless demonstrations will be sweeping the US on inauguration day.

Security officials have expressed concerns about possible clashes between supporters and opponents of Mr Trump in Washington, where up to 900,000 people are expected to watch him take the oath.

Coalition protest group DisruptJ20 has vowed to disrupt Mr Trump's inauguration and interfere with security checkpoints and anti-war group the Answer Coalition is planning demonstrations at the US Navy Memorial and Freedom Plaza near the White House.

A group calling itself Occupy Inauguration plans to rally on the morning of the ceremony at Meridian Hill Park, about a mile and a half north of the White House.

The group said speakers at the rally will include the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

Film-maker Michael Moore will speak at a rally in Washington's McPherson Square on Friday afternoon, where some 20,000 people are expected to attend.

Outgoing homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson said 28,000 officials will be involved in the security operation in Washington, including more than 3,000 police officers and 5,000 members of the National Guard.

Additional reporting by AP

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