While US President Donald Trump was in London being, er Donald Trump, a London-style open top red double decker bus was weaving around Salford suffused with slogans reading 'Trump Go Home' and 'Fight Bigotry – Dump Trump'.
The protest bus began its journey from the Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre in Eccles, where homeless people in the Centre's Breakfast Club greeted it. On board were trade unionists from Salford City UNISON, Salford TUC, supporters and staff from Mary Monson Solicitors, which sponsored the bus...
Mary Monson Solicitors is a national criminal defence law firm established in 1979, which represented striking miners, the Strangeways Rioters, young men in the Manchester and Salford gang trials of the 1980s and 1990s, and lately the Royal Bribery Case in 2016, and the 2017 Birmingham Prison Riot case.
The firm has anti-establishment roots and Mary told the Salford Star that is why it set up in Salford and linked it to today's bus tour...
"What's this got to do with Salford?" she asked "Everyone in Salford is a member of the human race, and they're amongst the most persecuted people on the planet in my view.
"The reason I work in Salford and have devoted my life to Salford is that I came here and found that it was the most deprived area with the highest rate of infant mortality in Europe...on the whole that hasn't disappeared" she explained "The white working class is personified in Salford, and if they're angry I'm not surprised...it's very easy to feed a dissatisfaction.
"I was outraged when I heard that the Prime Minister and the Queen had invited the American President to come to this country knowing what his purported values are" she added "I think his values are 'Trump' and greed, and it's as simple as that. I think he's manipulating people; he's giving oxygen to the disenfranchised white working class who are abused all over America, this country and all over Europe, everywhere. He's fuelling a very low form of nationalism.
"It's easy when people are neglected and not listened to, to whip them up" she said "But I don't believe he cares about anything. I don't think he's got an original thought in his head apart from his own greed, and pandering to his own vanity and appetites whether they are financial or sexual. So the idea that he'll come and be feted like a respectable person is appalling. Anyone who espouses those values publicly would not be welcome in this country in the past..."
Apart from a very few people, the bus was very well received, with cars beeping horns and clenched fist salutes from pedestrians as it weaved towards its first stop at Salford Royal Hospital, where nurses joined in anti-Trump chants. From there, it was onto Langworthy Road, for a stop outside Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey's office. She wasn't in but passing shoppers posed for photos with campaigners.
Paul Kelly, President of the Salford TUC, joined the bus at its next stop at Salford Precinct...
"People are under the illusion that there is a 'special relationship' with America and that America likes to help Britain out but it's a complete lie" he said "They basically inherited the British colonial empire after the First World War, and in the Second World War they introduced the Marshall Plan, a loan that has only just been paid off; they made money out it. So don't be under the illusion that Britain is America's friend. It's not. It's Trump first, America first and everyone else can go to hell.
"Trump is an ultra-capitalist who has just stuck it up British workers by introducing trade tariffs on steel, threatening what is left of our steel industry" he added "He's also the biggest possible warmonger in the history of mankind if he goes after Iran and Russia. It will wreck the planet, which he's doing anyway by pulling out of the Paris Accord on climate change.
"This man is a danger, he's a complete maniac and no-one knows what he's going to do next" he insisted "You can't have that in any sane area of the world and he needs to go. We need to get some rationale into humanity that doesn't spend money on war, including asking NATO to spend more on arms. Trump calls the NHS 'socialism', and he hates the NHS. You cannot support a man like that. He's not a friend of you..."
From Salford Precinct, the bus headed for Salford Civic Centre in Swinton, playing Salford music and with whistle blowing, placard waving campaigners on the top deck as the rain stopped.
At the Civic Centre, Councillor Kate Lewis greeted the crew with Mexican hats, a reference to Trump's sick diatribes about that country's population. Councillors Gina Reynolds and Heather Fletcher leant support, as photos were taken on the Civic Centre steps.
Liam Kotrie, director of Mary Monson Solicitors, explained why Trump had been singled out when there are so many unsavoury foreign leaders visting Britain...
"We are here, not because of Trump's politics...there's been many politicians here whose politics we don't necessarily agree with...and we don't get involved in politics we just represent people" he said "But when it comes to situations like this when someone is inciting hatred between different classes, races, different parts of society, it's something that we just can't stand for.
"I understand why some people think he's good, because he's against the usual establishment but people need to understand that he is the biggest part of the establishment" he added "He only cares about himself and his rich friends, and nothing else."
From the Civic Centre, the bus headed for Monton Village before a stop at Salford City UNISON's office...
"We're here telling Trump to go home because he represents everything that's bad about capitalism" said UNISON's Ameen Hadi "He's racist, sexist, he's only concerned about money, greed and power, and, obviously, he's fixated on war and he hates Muslims and migrants and refugees. I've got loads more reasons, have we got all day?
"It's important to do things like this to show that people do want to live in a peaceful society, that they do want to live regardless of their race, religion or creed or sexual orientation in peace, not in a world that is full of despair" he added "This bus represents the complete opposite of what he represents..."
And from the UNISON office, it was back to the Unemployed Centre in Eccles, where Salford people got off as the bus headed for a tour of Manchester before joining tonight's demo in Albert Square...
"We joined the bus basically to show that we don't particularly want a man who is in charge of the biggest and wealthiest country in the world dictating to us, arguing with us that we should spend more money on arms etc; who is a racist and who continually criticises Muslims and Mexicans" said the Centre Manager, Alec McFadden "He's not welcome here. This was to show that, and it's been so good to share it with so many people..."