As I walked through the anti-Trump marches on Friday, something obvious struck me.


It wasn’t the sincere good-naturedness of the protest, which somehow underlined, rather than undermined the rather grim topics of the demonstration. Nor was it the genuine diversity of the crowd, something not always to be guaranteed at left-wing protest marches.

No, it was the swearing. I mean the eye-popping, cringe-inducing, words-I-wouldn’t-breath-in-the-same-house as my mum profanity. Signs that called Trump a ‘White House W*nker’, a ‘S*it President’ and all manner of naughty words I couldn’t even asterisk in this article.

It wasn’t just relegated to placards either. As the sun set on a successful demonstration, and morphed into a rather muggy moving rally, chants could be heard being yelled by protestors. To the sensational tune of ‘Hey Baby’ by DJ Otzi, they wanted to know (ohhhhhh ohhhhh) why Trump was such a — completely horrible human being.

The only reason I mention the offensive words is because it says a lot about what we consider to be offensive. A bullish demonstration led by those delicate and easily-offended millennials was in many ways opposite to how our generation is characterised. In the summer heat, we saw the real snowflakes melt — Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and the rest of the alt-right.

Both Donald, Nigel and the alt-right individuals and organisations that circulate the frailty myth have made much political capital of the left, the young and the weak. ‘Snowflakes’ has entered our common vernacular. With no platform or safe space policy castigated. Thank god for these defenders of freedom, who spring into action quicker than I can pull a trigger warning.

Who are the real snowflakes here, Mr President?

The reasons for the protestors attending were almost as varied as the protestors themselves. I spoke to Aisha Ali-Khan, a co-organiser of Women’s March London. She talked of Trump’s policies and the rhetoric of ‘keeping out Mexicans, the Muslim ban and putting children in cages’, and as a Muslim woman living in the UK, how she views the uneasy parallels between the US and here.

‘The last decade has shown that the far right is not going anywhere, we saw that — in the admittedly far smaller Tommy Robinson protests. Emboldened is the word I’d use’.

It’s clear that locking children in cages, demonising Muslims and immigrants and assaulting women, were top reasons for protesting amongst the crowd. Philosophical ideals around what freedom of expression and speech meant in 2018 were not. But there is a clear jarring divide that cannot be ignored. Many people at the demonstration simply couldn’t believe they had to be here. That the most powerful person in the world was a sexual predator and openly racist — and that our government wasn’t just tolerating him, we were welcoming him.

Who are the real snowflakes here, Mr President?

And for all that power and proselytising on freedom, Trump is notoriously thin-skinned. So much mirth was inevitably made of his comments over feeling ‘unwelcome’ because of the demonstrations against him and his policy agenda. Nigel Farage hysterically tweeted that the giant inflatable Trump was the ‘biggest insult to a sitting US President ever’ — potentially the most millennial (and hilarious) form of protest yet seen on these shores.

Because if Trump had an ideological underpinning, it would be the anti-millennial. Where progress for our generation in social matters had seemed only a matter of time (even if painfully slow), we’re now having to reopen conversations we thought long closed. Such as; should immigrants be welcomed? Should women have freedom over their bodies? Does multiculturalism work? (Yes, yes and yes).

At times like this, it’s helpful to remind us of the Churchill quote (helpfully tweeted by Susuanna Reid) which sums up the fragile hypocrisy of the alt-right:

‘Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage’.

Never has an epigram so wittily summed up a world view so well. Because Farage and co were more than upset — they were OUTRAGED and OFFENDED.

Aisha says it is, ‘a bit rich for people like Donald Trump to say the feel unwelcome. He himself has made thousands of people feel unwelcome. He’s a hypocrite’.

That’s the problem with the alt-right these days. So easy to offend. Can’t take a joke. It’s just a bit of fun — why does everything have to become political?

Ultimately, I think that many from the far right camp — some of whom are in the US — or at least not based in Britain, (how’s the weather in Bermuda, Nigel?) were slightly shocked by the reaction from the people this week. Most, are quite simply exhausted by Trump in the United States. You could tell this by the weary way in which battle-hardened journalists from the US looked over at their far more bullish and brave British colleagues. As if to say, ‘It’s easy when you’re just babysitting, we’re the ones who have to take him home’.

But whilst he’s in our house, baby Trump is being fed on a diet of sweary protests, millennial revolt and uncomfortable situations. And ultimately, isn’t that what freedom of speech is?

Too F*cking right.