Organisers of an anti-Donald Trump protest group are hoping to gather a million people to demonstrate against the president after details of his “working visit” to the UK were reported.
More than 3,800 people have committed to a planned protest against the president on Facebook, with another 10,000 marked as interested in the event, just hours since it was set up. Organised by journalist Owen Jones and the Stop Trump protest group, the protest is planned for 26 and 27 February at the US Embassy and 10 Downing Street.
The event follows reports that the president could visit the UK early next year as part of a “working visit” to attend the opening of the new US Embassy in London. The Sunday Times reported that a date has been pencilled in for February, despite Theresa May’s condemnation of the president’s decision to share a series of Islamophobic posts by far-right group Britain First on Twitter.
The “Protest Trump’s visit” event on Facebook states: “Put the date in your diaries. If Donald Trump attempts to sneak into the UK to open the US Embassy on 26/27 February 2018 and also pop in to see Theresa May at Downing Street – he will be met by a million of us attempting a citizen’s arrest of him for incitement of racial hatred.”
Mr Jones tweeted about the event on Sunday with the message: “Stop what you’re doing: Donald Trump is set to come to Britain on *26/27 February*. Let’s make this the biggest demonstration in British history,” sharing a link to the protest.
The Stop Trump campaign’s organisers said last week they believed more than a million people would take to the streets in demonstration against the president if his trip went ahead.
“We’ve had a huge response to our campaign over the past 24 hours, particularly on social media,” a spokesperson told the Evening Standard.
“The British government know that the protests against a Trump visit could be the biggest we’ve ever seen in the country. Upwards of a million people could take to the streets,” the spokesperson said, adding: “We could mobilise hundreds of thousands at a day’s notice”.
An estimated 30,000 people marched on Downing Street earlier this year in protest against Mr Trump’s proposed travel ban against seven majority-Muslim countries.
The 2003 Stop the War protest against Britain’s involvement in Iraq remains probably the largest protest in UK history, with police estimating 750,000 attended. Organisers said at the time that there were 2 million marchers, although that was based on an extrapolation from an ICM poll of those who said they attended.