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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.