this is your guide to where and when the uk trump protests are
Everything you need to know about the anti-Trump protests taking place this week.
You might not have needed reminding, but Donald J Trump, 45th President of the United States, is a nasty piece of work and hope is dwindling. Though it’s easy to tune out of American politics, to stand idly by and let it descend into further chaos -- because really, what can any of us do to stop him -- this weekend, an opportunity has arisen, much like the US president’s combover as it meets with blustery airfield. Now, you can stand up and be counted as someone who really hates Donald Trump, you can contribute to him having to change his plans, you can make your distaste -- and other less civil feelings -- known. Because Trump is coming to the UK, and several organised protests are your opportunity to show him how little you want him here.
Why is Donald Trump coming to the UK now?
The UK and the US are meant to have a Special Relationship. It’s already been a bit sullied, as Trump has suggested the capital has “no-go” areas which don’t include Shoreditch High Street at 3am on a Sunday morning, but comprise a series of radical Islamic states, and says our beloved NHS -- which turns 70 this week and is so universally loved that it’s provided Dr Alex in Love Island his only redeeming quality by association -- is “going broke and not working”. He’s also retweeted Britain First’s hateful racist propaganda, threatened hefty tariffs on British exports, grabbed Theresa May’s hand in a fret over some terrifying steps, and, um, sauntered into Scotland -- a country which didn’t vote for Brexit -- the day after the referendum result, to insist “people want to have a country again”. Despite all of this, he expects the UK’s support, doubtless in part because he is half Scottish, and will doubtless receive it, doubtless because Theresa May rightly anticipates that Brexit will make us more reliant on trade with our more distant partners.
As Number 10 put it: “As with any protest, we are a free and open democracy and we believe in the right to peaceful protest. But I would also say that I think the majority of British people understand the importance of the UK-US alliance. The presidential visit is an important moment to recognise our close and special relationship and to have good and frank discussions on the key issues.”
Is Trump being nice to the UK right now?
No, not hugely. The US Embassy in London has warned Americans to keep a “low profile” during Trump’s visit, as if Britons are annoyed at Americans who bother to travel to Europe rather than one specific American who really wants to see it fall apart. The US ambassador has also suggested Trump is still very keen to meet Boris Johnson, as the former foreign secretary, who resigned just this week, is pro-Brexit. Though Theresa May’s honour is hardly an issue for many anti-Trump protestors, there’s a certain lack of diplomacy in meeting with a backbench MP who’s rumoured to be launching a leadership campaign.
Does Donald Trump have a great impact on other countries?
Owing to Trump’s nationalism and power, he’s able to harm a whole bunch of countries without even turning up. In the past 18 months he’s said Haiti was one of many “shithole countries”, left American citizens in Puerto Rico suffering following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, made Canada’s dollar drop, said Mexico is full of rapists, and that’s just the Americas.
He’s also ensured that poor women in developing countries are unable to access vital abortion services, that asylum-seeking parents can be separated from their children and that trans people can’t serve in the US military.
And of course, don’t forget the alternate universe we could inhabit right now: Trump encouraged his supporters to chant “lock her up” about Hillary Clinton, a woman who worked so hard she sent some emails from home, despite himself facing multiple sexual assault allegations. He denies them all, but laughed off being caught on tape bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy”, as “locker room talk”.
Where is Trump visiting?
The fear of protests has been so potent that Trump has already postponed his first trip to the UK as US president, and the confirmed visit has been downgraded from an official state visit to a working visit. To best avoid the inevitable, Trump’s itinerary has been amended to keep him far from London -- home to the highest concentration of anti-Trump protests -- for as long as possible.
What is Trump’s schedule?
According to our sources:
- Trump and Melania will arrive in on Air Force One to London Stansted Airport, home of the UK’s longest border queue, in the afternoon of Thursday 12th July. They’ll have just come from a NATO summit in Brussels.
- The happy couple will helicopter off to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, where Theresa May will host a black-tie dinner for 100 guests from different industries and government ministers (if there are any of the latter left by then).
- Trump and the First Lady will then helicopter to Winfield House, the American ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park (not the embassy in Nine Elms, an area Trump has called “lousy”.
- Early Friday morning Trump and May will head off to an as-yet-undisclosed defence site to watch some UK military sorts show off their skills. Melania and May’s husband, Phillip May, will head off to get on with some other business.
- After the military willy-waving, Trump and May will have a working lunch at Chequers, then have a press conference, where, May probably hopes, he won’t hold her hand again.
- By Friday late afternoon, Trump will travel to Windsor Castle to meet the Queen, who, incidentally, was unable to attend the christening of her youngest great-grandchild, Prince Louis, earlier this week. Was that preparation for a bigger sick day?
- Trump and Melania will travel to Scotland, where they will spend the rest of their trip until Sunday evening. The UK government is lending Scotland £5 million to cover policing costs for this portion of this trip, because Holyrood never wanted him to visit Scotland in the first place.
- Whether Trump gets time to play golf at one of his private courses is yet to be seen, as is the possibility of Nigel Farage joining him -- at present, the man Trump said should be the UK ambassador is holed up in the tax haven of Bermuda, killing protected sealife with Arron Banks, the guy with the Russian mates who funded the Leave.eu Brexit campaign.
Where are the protests?
Though there are plans for people to stand outside Blenheim Palace and Winfield House and do lots of boos throughout Thursday night, Windsor Castle and Chequers both have very long driveways and so protestors won’t be heard from inside.
You’re probably going to post about it on Instagram, so why don’t you actually get there to be counted? Not only will the pictures sit alongside those of Trump in media coverage and the history books of his visit, but you’ll leave feeling re-energised. You’re not the only person who despairs about Trump, you’re not alone in thinking it’s disgraceful that, say, the government has spent more on policing his stay in Scotland alone than on its much-lauded LGBT Action Plan. You’re not alone in thinking this is not the ally we want.
There are loads of ways to combat Trump’s reign of ridiculousness, if you find it abominable that the UK government has invited this sort of a statesman to visit our Prime Minister, our Queen, our citizens, in a visit former Foreign Secretary and arch-Brexiteer and occasional racist quipper Boris Johnson tweeted would be “FANTASTIC”.
Where is the London protest against Trump?
Lucky you, there are two big ones!
The Women’s March: Friday 13 July, 4pm
Starting at the BBC’s headquarters, Portland Place, The Women's March will head down to Parliament Square for a two-hour rally. Organised by the intersectional feminists behind the previous Women’s Marches -- which take place annually to coincide with Trump’s inauguration and its anniversaries -- this march aims to make some noise. At 12.30, a wall of sound will be created by protestors banging on pots and pans, making a nice change from the sometimes eerily quiet and mournful Women’s Marches, and the repeated blasting of Dead Prez’s It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop which tends to clog up so many well-meaning left-wing protests.
Together Against Trump: Friday 13 July, 2pm-7pm
Once again starting at Portland Place, Together Against Trump will snake down to Trafalgar Square, where a rally will take place for two hours. Initiated by journalist Owen Jones, TAT comprises of two main umbrella factions. The first is the Stop Trump Coalition, including woke and friendly anti-Trump-ers such as Ed Miliband, Lily Allen, Olly Alexander and Mhairi Black, all keen to point out the UK government is at fault for even inviting him. The second faction is Stand Up To Trump, which includes a wide range of fantastic organisations, one being Stand Up To Racism. Great name, great goal, but they’re woefully linked to the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). Even Owen Jones has said so.
Though many different sorts will unite against a common enemy in Trump, it might be worth considering that the SWP are so anti-police that they use the ACAB refrain to justify handling sexual assault and rape allegations against their own senior team with their own kangaroo courts. If you have no option but to attend this one, note that holding a SWP placard, no matter how many are shoved into your hands, shows you support them.
Where is the Glasgow protest against Trump?
Scotland Against Trump is advertising a demonstration in Glasgow’s St George Square on Friday 13 July between 5-8pm. There will be speeches, music and games.
Where is the Edinburgh protest against Trump?
Scotland Against Trump is also having a National Demonstration in Edinburgh outside the Scottish Parliament from noon on Saturday 14 July, and demonstrators will then gather later in The Meadows from 2.30pm onward.
Are there other protests in Scotland?
Yes, both of Trump’s Scottish golf courses are set to be targeted by protestors: Trump International Golf Links at Balmedia, Aberdeenshire and Trump Turnberry near Girvan. Trump Turnberry is where Trump is staying, so expect the protest to be a little livelier here.
Where is the Blenheim Palace protest against Trump?
On Thursday 12 July, to coincide with Theresa May’s gala dinner, where she will host Trump, Melania and a bunch of sell outs/unlucky souls, protestors will gather outside the palace gates at around 5.30pm. Members of the local Labour party are reportedly joining in.
Where is the Winfield House protest against Trump?
Fences and bollards have been installed at the US ambassador’s residence, where Trump will sleep on the night of Thursday 12 July, so it’s not clear if there will be space for protestors, but keep an eye out on social media, perhaps under the tag #TrumpVisit.
Will the protests work?
Yes, so long as they are huuuuuge. That’s why it’s so annoying that the SWP will make their presence known and potentially fragment the protests. Trump is a man obsessed by bigness: big promises, big phallic towers, big steaks, big accusations, big long red ties, big hair, big, big, big. In the pilot of Sex and the City, Big is nicknamed after being introduced to the show as “the next Donald Trump, except he's younger and much better looking”, and if actual Trump existed in the medieval period -- an era much of his lazy, progress-phobic policies should be consigned to -- he would commission all the metal foundries in the land to create him a codpiece the size of Shamu (RIP). He notices big things, he wants to be at the centre of big things, and when he’s not, they upset him. Just look at how upset he got about the lack of crowds at his own inauguration.
Will the big blimp of Trump as an angry little baby upset him? Perhaps. Will getting American Idiot -- a very annoying song -- to number one upset him? Probably not. What will certainly upset him is that hundreds, thousands -- maybe hundreds of thousands -- of people have turned up simply to be counted as the masses who dislike him.