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Trump UK Visit Faces ‘Maximum Disruption’

Newsweek logo Newsweek 4/23/2019 Shane Croucher

Activists say they are preparing to cause “maximum disruption” to President Donald Trump’s U.K. state visit, which will reportedly take place in June.

According to BBC News, on Tuesday Buckingham Palace will announce its invitation to Trump for a formal state visit, which includes all the royal pomp, in a move set to provoke backlash from the president’s British critics.

Nick Dearden, who helped organize London’s mass protests against Trump’s two-day working visit last year, said plans are already afoot for when the president arrives, including a “big demo.”

“It’s up to us, again, to say Trump is not welcome, and to make his visit as unpleasant as possible. We’re going to aim for maximum disruption,” Dearden, of the Stop Trump Coalition, told Newsweek.

Queen Elizabeth II will extend the invitation to a state visit at the suggestion of the British government, led by Prime Minister Theresa May. 

May is negotiating Brexit—Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU)—but is deeply unpopular, even within her own Conservative Party, because of how she is handling the process.

Her government wants a lucrative post-Brexit trade deal with the U.S. and sees Trump, who has promised one, as a useful vehicle to achieve that.

“It’s simply astonishing that after all the discrediting Trump has received in recent weeks in the U.S., Theresa May, an utterly discredited prime minister, is to call for him to have this unusual honor,” Dearden told Newsweek.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: US President Donald Trump is likely to be invited to a formal state visit to the UK in June. Protesters say they are ready to cause © Getty Images US President Donald Trump is likely to be invited to a formal state visit to the UK in June. Protesters say they are ready to cause “May is desperate to secure a toxic trade deal with Trump to prove Brexit can work. And she’s prepared to throw a lifeline to this awful president to get it.”

He hopes to leverage the recent Extinction Rebellion protests against climate change, which brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets in London and across the U.K., for the movement against Trump’s state visit.

“I’d really hope his visit will become a magnet for all those who want radical climate action to be undertaken, because Trump, after all, is a symbol of climate change denial globally—one of the reasons we see him as one of the most dangerous men in the world at this time,” Dearden said.

The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.  

According to the pollster YouGov, President Trump has a net approval rating of -46% in the UK.

A press release sent out by the Stand Up To Trump campaign in Britain promised to "flood the capital with hundreds of thousands of protesters" when the president visits London.

“Donald Trump is the world’s number one racist, warmonger and misogynist, with no solution to the global economic crisis," Sabby Dhalu, a representative of Stand Up to Trump, said in a statement.

"His presidency has emboldened every fascist and racist across the globe and is stirring up tension in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

"A formal state visit to Britain in June must be met with widespread opposition. All those that value peace and hope for a better world for the many must take to the streets and say clearly that Donald Trump is not welcome here!”

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