Protests, no-shows, and a Baby Trump blimp greet the president in two grief-stricken cities
The notorious, orange-haired Baby Trump blimp, surrounded by sign-waving demonstrators, greeted President Donald Trump Wednesday during his visit to a Dayton hospital in the wake of a devastating weekend shooting.
It took only 24 hours for two organizers to raise more than $3,000 to bring the protest blimp to Miami Valley Hospital....
In Dayton, the diapered caricature of the president that has appeared in anti-Trump events from London to Texas, carried a sign saying, "Stop being a baby. Stand up to the NRA!"
Protesters carried placards that included "Do Something," "Just say No to Fascism," and "Protect kids, not guns."
Carina Dani and Megan Baxter organized the GoFundMe blimp campaign "so we can get Baby Trump and give our President the welcome he deserves." Additional funds were earmarked for victims of the shooting....
In El Paso, site of the other weekend mass shooting, the tone of a planned protest rally was set by the area's member of congress, Rep. Veronica Escobar, D- Texas, who refused to meet with Trump until he called her first to discuss the tragedy. The White House declined.
Mayor Dee Margo said he would show up for the Trump visit to honor the office of president, not the occupant.
Instead of meeting the president, Escobar planned to join with the Border Network for Human Rights and Women's March El Paso at a protest rally near the University Medical Center, where Trump was expected to meet with survivors of Saturday's shooting.
Within hours, hundreds of people signed an online petition posted by medical workers at UMC. “Given President Trump’s rhetoric on immigration, we believe that a visit to our medical campus will be harmful for both the families affected and medical teams caring for those families,” it said.
Lisa Moore, an obstetrician with privileges at two area hospitals, said she signed the petition because she worries the president has “created an environment of fear,” especially for her Hispanic colleagues, in the wake of a shooting that specifically targeted people of Hispanic descent.
The protest mood facing the president was echoed by a Facebook posting from Cassandra Hernandez, the city council member representing the neighborhood where the shooting occurred. It was directed at Trump, saying he was not welcome "because you have dehumanized Hispanics and immigrants."
... In Dayton, about 50 protesters gathered outside city hall Tuesday to chant "do something!" and to call on Mayor Nan Whaley to tell the president not to visit the city.
“The city needs to heal right now. We are so stressed,” said one of the protesters, Megan Fiely, the Dayton Daily News reported. “We’re not a photo opportunity for Trump.”
Whaley said she would greet the president, but added that his “rhetoric has been painful for many in our community and I think people should stand up and say they are not happy if they are not happy he’s coming.”