Politics

Trump says, ‘They like me a lot in the UK.’ 100,000 protesters may disagree

US President Donald Trump (C) and US First Lady Melania Trump (L) walk on the tarmac with US Ambassador to the United Kingdom Woody Johnson (R) as they disembark Air Force One at Stansted Airport, north of London on July 12, 2018, as he begins his first visit to the UK as US president. The four-day trip, which will include talks with Prime Minister Theresa May, tea with Queen Elizabeth II and a private weekend in Scotland, is set to be greeted by a leftist-organised mass protest in London on Friday. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMENTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

LONDON — As President Trump landed in Britain on Thursday afternoon, protesters have been in battle-preparation mode, with demonstrations planned for every stage of his visit, even as its choreography seems designed to have him spend as little time as possible in London and keep him out of sight of any protests.

The president, who is set for a two-day working visit followed by a weekend in Scotland, addressed the planned protests in a news conference, saying, “I think it’s fine.”

“They like me a lot in the U.K.,” he added. “They agree with me on immigration. I’m going to a pretty hot spot right now, a lot of resignations.”

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But Owen Jones, a left-wing journalist and lead organizer of Britain’s “Stop Trump” protests, said Wednesday: “We need to show that we abhor everything that Trump represents: the bigotry, racism, anti-Muslim prejudice and misogyny. We also have to stand against the movements that have been legitimized by him — the far right, the racists, fascists — including in our own country — who feel stronger because he is president.”

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Supporters of Trump are hoping to stage their own “Welcome Trump” procession Saturday.

Trump arrived around 1:45 p.m. Thursday, straight from the NATO summit. The first protest, described as “the wall of sound,” is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., when Trump heads to Winfield House, the residence of the U.S. ambassador, in Regent’s Park in London. That’s where he will spend the night.

Activists planned to stir up as much noise as possible and play harrowing recordings of children crying — a protest against the Trump administration’s separation of families at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Protesters against the visit of US President Donald Trump gather with placards at a barrier set up to block access to the US ambassador's residence Winfield House in Regents Park in London on July 12, 2018 where Trump is set to spend the night on the first day of a UK visit. The four-day trip, which will include talks with Prime Minister Theresa May, tea with Queen Elizabeth II and a private weekend in Scotland, is set to be greeted by a leftist-organised mass protest in London on Friday. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMENTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters against the visit of President Trump gathered with placards at a barrier set up to block access to the US ambassador's residence Winfield House in Regents Park in London.

Crowds will also gather near Oxford outside Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of the Spencer-Churchill family, where Prime Minister Theresa May will host a black-tie dinner for Trump.

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The main national demonstration, “Together Against Trump,” is planned in London for 2 p.m. Friday. Activists aim to fly a giant orange balloon of the president depicted as a baby in a diaper above Parliament Square. Muslim groups, too, plan to march in protest after Friday Prayer. Police expect more than 100,000 protesters.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 12: Human rights group Amnesty International drop a banner from Vauxhall Bridge opposite the US Embassy protesting against US President Donald Trump's visit to the United Kingdom on July 12, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. The President of the United States and First Lady, Melania Trump, have arrive in the United Kingdom for their first official visit. Whilst they are here they will have dinner at Blenheim Palace, visit Prime Minister Theresa May at Chequers and take tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Human rights group Amnesty International dropp a banner from Vauxhall Bridge opposite the US Embassy protesting against President Trump's visit to the United Kingdom in London.