Orlando activists had a London-style greeting for the president Tuesday when he launched his re-election campaign in Central Florida.
Organizers of a rally near the Amway Center brought to town one of the giant Donald Trump baby balloons that have infamously trolled the president during his trips to Great Britain. The balloon, standing 20 feet tall, was positioned on Church Street, blocks from Trump’s rally.
A crowdfunding campaign raised $5,000 to transport the balloon to Orlando.
Organizers of the Win With Love Rally wrote in a June 8 permit application with Orlando police that they were trying to bring the infamous inflatable to the city. But it wasn’t until Saturday that the group confirmed it was logistically possible.
“We plan to win with love, and we LOVE Baby Trump,” rally organizer Ida Eskamani wrote in a news release.
The balloon didn’t fly in the air, as it did in London. It was tethered on the ground outside the Stonewall Bar. Eskamani said the group hosting the event planned to dedicate volunteers to protecting the balloon, given the occasional efforts to destroy the inflatable infants.
“Currently there are five baby Trumps in the world. There were more but some have demised,” Eskamani said.
Trump’s rally at the Amway Center was expected to fill the arena to its 20,000-seat capacity.
There was some tension leading into the event. The Orlando Sentinel reported Friday about jokes made on a Brevard County Facebook page about running over anti-Trump protesters outside the president’s rally.
Eskamani said the Stonewall rally would be surrounded by barricades. And on their own Facebook Page, the rally organizers told attendees to leave backpacks and large bags at home and avoid engagement with “opposition protesters.”
“This is a peaceful rally,” the page states. “Violent behavior will not be tolerated.”
Times staff writer Aaron Holmes contributed to this report.