Trump Says, ‘They Like Me a Lot in the U.K.’ 100,000 Protesters May Disagree.


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Trump Says, ‘They Like Me a Lot in the U.K.’ 100,000 Protesters May Disagree.

A security fence around Winfield House, the United States ambassador’s residence in London, where President Trump will spend the night on Thursday. Protesters say they will try to keep him awake.CreditJack Taylor/Getty Images

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.”

“They like me a lot in the U.K.,” Mr. Trump said. “They agree with me on immigration. I’m going to a pretty hot spot right now, a lot of resignations.”CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

But Owen Jones, a left-wing journalist and lead organizer of Britain’s “Stop Trump” protests, said on 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 Mr. Trump are hoping to stage their own “Welcome Trump” procession on Saturday.

Mr. Trump arrived around 1:45 p.m. Thursday, straight from the NATO summit meeting. The first protest, described as “the wall of sound,” is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., when Mr. Trump heads to Winfield House, the residence of the United States 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 United States border with Mexico. The noise will continue into the evening: Protesters aim to bang pots and pans in an attempt to “keep Trump awake in London,” organizers say.

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

At 7:45 p.m., environmental activists planned to drop a giant “Trump: Climate Genocide” banner opposite the Houses of Parliament. On Friday morning, some protesters plan to follow Mr. Trump to Chequers, the country house of the prime minister, where he and Mrs. May will hold bilateral talks on security and trade issues.


The “Trump Baby” balloon will be flown in London during the protests.CreditIsabel Infantes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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. The police expect more than 100,000 protesters.

On Saturday, supporters planned to march from the United States Embassy to Whitehall. The Metropolitan Police said on Thursday that it was imposing restrictions on that and a counterrally “in order to prevent serious disorder and disruption to Londoners.”

At Windsor Castle, west of London, where Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania, are to meet Queen Elizabeth II, protests are expected. The president and the first lady will then travel to the Trump Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, where they will spend the weekend. But it will hardly be peaceful.

“Donald Trump is not welcome here,” the Scottish Labour and Scottish Green parties said in a joint statement. “The horrific scenes at the Mexican border are a repudiation of decent human values. Caging children like animals is barbaric. We cannot roll out the red carpet for a U.S. president that treats human beings this way.”

The “Trump Baby” balloon may follow the president to Scotland. Thousands of people have also signed a petition asking permission to fly the balloon over the Turnberry golf course, where the president is expected to play on Saturday.

Follow Ceylan Yeginsu on Twitter: @CeylanWrites.