Bridges Not Walls: Volunteers fill Five Points brewery’s Mare Street warehouse to make huge anti-Trump banners
PUBLISHED: 14:48 17 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:33 17 January 2017
Ale wasn’t the only thing brewing at the Five Points warehouse over the weekend.
When Donald Trump is sworn in on Friday, banners bearing protest messages will be dropped from all 10 major bridges across the Thames. What many won’t know is that they were all handmade by a 100-strong volunteer army in the firm’s Mare Street warehouse.
It’s part of the international Bridges Not Walls campaign, a reference to Mr Trump’s pledge to build a border wall separating America from Mexico.
Organiser Dalton Valerio, a professional dancer by day, told the Gazette how grateful he was to Five Points Brewing Company’s owner Ed Mason for the loan of the warehouse.
He said: “We needed the space and Ed is very welcoming. If he is able to provide something for us then he will.”
When the Gazette visited on Sunday, the volunteers were putting the finishing touches to the brightly coloured 75 sq m signs, which bore slogans such as “united against Islamophobia” and “migrants welcome” – a contrast with many of Mr Trump’s campaign messages.
Others were carrying out miniature practice runs with smaller banners and sandbags, using the metal frames and scaffolding inside the warehouse to secure the ropes.
Dalton, a 24-year-old American, is also a part-timebartender for the brewery’s craft beer bar Mason and Company.
“I have to leave [the UK] soon because of my visa,” he said, “and this is the last thing I felt I could do being connected to the people who are here before I have to leave.
“This idea started in Hackney after a few of us felt the need to do something. Now cities like Berlin, Rome and San Francisco will be dropping banners over their bridges.”
Closer to home, a group of Shrubland Road neighbours have made their own banner to drop over the Regent’s Canal at Queensbridge Road at the same time as the others – 8.30am.
One, Marloes Nicholls, said it was meant “to send a message that Hackney will always be a place that celebrates its proud history of diversity”.