Americans in UK asked to 'keep a low profile' during Donald Trump's state visit as embassy anticipates violence
The US embassy advised Americans to 'keep a low profile' and 'exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings that may become violent'
President Trump is scheduled to visit Britain on Thursday directly after attending a NATO summit and he is expected to be greeted by angry demonstrators during his visit with the highlight being a "Trump Baby" blimp which would be flown over the parliament for a full two hours.
Quite a few Britons see the American leader as volatile, crude, and opposed to their "values" on a number of issues, despite the United States being the country's closest ally. Trump had earlier sparked anger by re-tweeting anti-Muslim videos posted by a leader of a far-right UK party after giving out brazen comments on militant attacks that have gravely affected the country's capital with many branding it "Wild West London."
While a gathering to welcome the president is planned on the sidelines, over 50,000 people have pledged to demonstrate against his visit in central London on Friday, the principal day of his three-day trip.
“Numerous demonstrations are being planned for July 12 to 14 surrounding the visit of the President of the United States to the United Kingdom,” the US embassy said in an alert on its website.
"The majority of the demonstrations will be focused in central London on July 13, with other events planned for July 12 and 14."
The embassy advised US citizens to “keep a low profile” and “exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings that may become violent”.
The alert published a list of "actions to take" for Americans to keep themselves safe, including "be aware of your surroundings" and "monitor local media".
After the NATO summit in Belgium, Trump will fly to Britain on Air Force One and will stay overnight at the US ambassador Woody Johnson's residence in central London. Amid safety concerns for the US leader, a high metal security fence was recently erected outside the building.
Trump is scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Theresa May at her 16th-century manor house Chequers after visiting a military facility with her, from where he will proceed to the Windsor Castle to meet with Queen Elizabeth, which is regarded as more sheltered than Buckingham Palace.
He would then go to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the home of former World War II leader Winston Churchill, to attend a black-tie dinner.
After the state engagements are completed, the US leader would be traveling to Scotland, where he owns two golf courses, for a two-day private holiday. For his Scottish trip, over 5,000 officers, including specialist riot and armed officers, would be deployed for his protection, according to Scotland’s interim police chief.
After two top cabinet ministers resigned over Prime Minister May's plans for trade ties with the European Union following Brexit next March, she is reportedly grappling with a political crisis. Ahead of his state visit, Trump said that due to the cabinet situation, Britain was currently “in somewhat turmoil”.
Critics are of the opinion that Trump has further angered his host by refusing to say if he supports Prime Minister May following the political turmoil regarding Britain exiting the European bloc.
As the US commander-in-chief set of on his trip to Europe, which includes a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, he said: "I have NATO, I have the UK, which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have (Vladimir Putin)."
“Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think?”
Ever since the British Prime Minister blamed Kremlin for the poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal with a Soviet-era military nerve agent in March, relations between the two countries are at the lowest point after the Cold War.
Having said that, quite a few Britons are enraged that President Trump has been invited to their homeland despite scores of protests against his state visit.
An organizer for Together Against Trump, an umbrella group for protest organizations, Shabbir Lakha, previously said: “We want to show our opposition to Donald Trump and everything that he represents."
“The police have largely approved the protests, but it took a lot of negotiating and they’ve been quite obstructive,” Lakha said. “But because of the huge number of expected people, they’ve been forced to back off to some extent.”
Gordon Robertson, a news editor at The Daily Record, which publishes The Sunday Mail, said, “We have a great respect for the office of the president and affection for American presidents, but not the incumbent."
Mr. Robertson said Mr. Trump was “a threat to international stability, and he has a tenuous relationship with the truth,” adding, “We want to let him know that we don’t appreciate what he stands for.”
However, ignoring all naysayers, Trump said "I don't care" when asked about his critics in the UK and said that he believed "a lot of the people in your country like what I stand for."