Build bridges not walls say campaigners

Campaigners Heike Huschauer and Sue Hepworth mark the Trump presidency in Bakewell
Campaigners Heike Huschauer and Sue Hepworth mark the Trump presidency in Bakewell

Local campaigners hung banners urging people to ‘build bridges not walls’ on the day of US president Donald Trump’s inauguration day on January 20.

Bakewell residents hung their banner over the River Wye from 1pm to 3pm, as part of a UK-wide drop, timed to take place on the landmark day.

The bridges not walls movement promotes standing up against the rise of racism and fascism, and aims to send a positive message to local communities.

Sue Hepworth, part of the group supporting the banner drop which was organised by local Quakers, said: “We will build bridges not walls, to a peaceful and just world rid of oppression and hatred.

“I’m appalled and upset at the nastiness of modern politics, both here and abroad. We all need to stand up for what is right and do something positive and practical – such as welcoming refugees.”

Fellow campaigner John Cummins added: “I showed my support to demonstrate to all our citizens and my friends around the world that Trump is not acting in my name.”

There were around 60 banner drops across England and Scotland, which also took place in Wirksworth and Whatstandwell. Banners were dropped across the footbridge across Main Road in Wirksworth and across the canal and railway bridges in Whatstandwell.

This action is part of the Bridges Not Walls project, which began as the brainchild of Hastings ice cream man and homeless shelter worker Will Stevens in the aftermath of the shock US election result. It rapidly gained momentum and was backed by campaign and community groups all over Derbyshire and further afield.

Marion McCartney, a retired teacher who also took part, said: “I did this because I believe that the greatest danger comes not from politicians, however powerful, but in people giving in to fear and a sense of hopelessness. We owe it to future generations to think about the world we want them to inherit from us.”

Campaigners Heike Huschauer and Sue Hepworth mark the Trump presidency in Bakewell

Campaigners Heike Huschauer and Sue Hepworth mark the Trump presidency in Bakewell