The activist group CODEPINK said Tuesday it has been granted a permit to fly the "Baby Trump" balloon on the National Mall on July Fourth, in a location where a National Park Service official said it might be seen by President Donald Trump.
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But as of now, because the Park Service says it has to be inflated with cold air instead of helium, it might not get higher than two feet off the ground.
The group requested to fly the 20’ x 20’ balloon directly in the President Trump's line of sight when he is scheduled to deliver a speech at 6:30 p.m.in front of the Lincoln Memorial but the group said the permit was for a location different from the one they wanted near the Washington Monument.
In a press release, the organization said, “regarding the location, we had requested a space on the large, empty expanse at the base of the Washington Monument that would not have obstructed anyone’s view but would have allowed the president to see the baby. Instead we were only given location options that were outside the line of sight. We chose the northwest quadrant just off 17th Street but feel there was no reason to deny us our right to protest the president where he could see us.”
Mike Litterst, chief of communications at the National Park Service told ABC News, “They are on the Monument grounds, very close to the area they requested on the application.”
The new location of the balloon is in the northwest quadrant of the Washington Monument grounds just off 17th street, in the southwest corner of that quadrant.
CODEPINK said it will be holding a press conference Wednesday in front of the Lincoln Memorial to protest, “the militarization of July 4 and talk about our plans to fly "Baby Trump" with helium and hold a “Trump is a Big Baby” Festival.”
The group wanted to inflate the larger balloon with helium where it could fly higher than two feet above the ground. When inflated, the balloon would be about 20 feet tall. The group argued that since the height restriction for the National Mall is 45 feet, it should be allowed to inflate the balloon with helium.
In the release, CODEPINK said, in order to fill the balloon with helium, they had to get a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration, who in turn told the group they had to see the Flight Standard District Office (FSDO).
“We are now trying to get the waiver from the FSDO, but feel this bureaucratic process is designed to force us to just keep the baby on the ground, instead of floating it in the air. It’s ridiculous that we have to contact the FAA to hoist a balloon two feet off the ground,” said CODEPINK logistics manager Tighe Barry in the release. “There is nothing dangerous about helium--there are lots of helium floats in the July 4 parade. And you certainly can’t say that a 20-foot-tall balloon is going to interfere with Trump’s Air Force One and the Navy’s Blue Angels!”
CODEPINK said members also plan to bring over 100 smaller, 2-foot replicas of the "Baby Trump" balloon, according to co-founder Medea Benjamin.