Scotland Against Trump: Where are protests against president's visit taking place?

A coalition of politicians, campaign groups and trades union representatives have joined together to march against President Donald Trump (PIC: Scotland United Against Trump)
A coalition of politicians, campaign groups and trades union representatives have joined together to march against President Donald Trump (PIC: Scotland United Against Trump)
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The organisers behind a host of Scottish anti-Trump protests are calling for tens of thousands of people to join a 'Carnival of Resistance'.

US President Donald Trump will arrive in the UK on Thursday and meet Prime Minister Theresa May as well as The Queen. He is expected to spend the weekend in Scotland, the birthplace of his mother and home of two Trump International golf courses.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to join demonstrations (PIC: Ian Greenhalgh)

Tens of thousands of people are expected to join demonstrations (PIC: Ian Greenhalgh)

A coalition of protesters, including leaders from across the Scottish political spectrum, has united to organise a series of demonstrations they hope will topple 2005's G8 protests as the largest the country has ever witnessed.

Protesters united under the rainbow coalition will march against the Trump's alleged sexism, racism and close ties to Russia as well as his administration's environmental and immigration policies. The backlash against the president's visit was heightened when it was revealed immigrant families from Central America were being separated and detained in 'cages' at the US border.

So when and where are the protests taking place?

Umbrella group Scotland Against Trump is advertising a demonstration in Glasgow's George Square on Friday, July 13 between 5-8pm.

The event will include speeches, music and games including 'Toss the welly at Trump' and 'Mini golf'.

This will be followed by the 'National Demonstration' in Edinburgh outside the Scottish Parliament from 12 noon on Saturday, July 14. Later on Saturday demonstrators are due to gather in The Meadows in Edinburgh from 2.30pm onward.

Scotland Against Trump is also planning a 'Craft and Organising Night' on Wednesday, July 11 between 6-9.30pm at Edinburgh's Augustine United Church at George IV Bridge. The session will give protesters the chance to prepare banners for Friday and Saturday's demonstrations.

Elsewhere in Scotland protests are expected at both of President Trump's Scottish golf courses - Trump International Golf Links at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire and Trump Turnberry near Girvan. Mr Trump and his wife Melanie are expected to stay at Turnberry over the weekend. The president's office has not ruled out a visit to Aberdeenshire.

However it is understood Mr Trump - who has been branded a 'vile xenophobe' by the Scottish Green Party - will not visit the Isle of Lewis, birthplace of his mother Mary Anne MacLeod.

In Dumfries the local branch of the Scottish Green Party has organised a protest objecting to the president's environmental policies. It will take place between 5.30-6.30pm at the Robert Burns statue in the town centre.

South of the border protests have been organised at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire where Trump will have dinner with leading business people as well as in London. It is understood Whitehall has advised the president to avoid the centre of the capital where the marches will take place however he may not be able to avoid an inflatable baby Trump balloon which will fly over the city.

Will the marches top G8 protests as the largest in Scotland's history?

In July 2005, during the G8 summit of global leaders at Gleneagles, 225,000 people took to the streets of Edinburgh for the Make Poverty History march. Thousands of other demonstrators were involved in marches during the week surrounding the summit, including hundreds of international anarchists who clashed with police.

Other major protests throughout Scottish history include the Battle of George Square in 1919 and the poll tax marches in 1989.

Organisers of anti-Trump events hope the weekend will mark the busiest demonstrations yet.

Who is backing the demonstrations?

Politicians and public figures across Scotland have thrown their weight behind the events.

Scotland United Against Trump’s Kirsty Haigh said: “Trump likes to talk up his Scottish connections but we are going to show that his politics are not welcome here.

“A growing coalition of organisations and campaigns are coming together to say that Scotland will stand united against Trump. We are going to build support for two massive days of action with a rally in Glasgow and national demonstration and festival in Edinburgh."

The organisers of the demonstrations include the SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Scottish Trades Union Congress, Unison and groups including Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “All of civic Scotland stands ready to tell Donald Trump that he and his politics are not welcome here. The sight of mothers separated from babies – and children caged like animals – has horrified people across the globe. We should not welcome the man responsible."

The SNP's Westminister leader Ian Blackford MP said President Trump's visit is "an opportunity to show we will never compromise our values".

“Trump will go back to America with a clear message that in Scotland we build bridges, not walls," he said. "Scotland and America have historic ties that go back centuries and that will not be undermined by the policies of one president."

Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie added: "Greens will be proud to take part in events in Glasgow and Edinburgh next Friday and Saturday to tell this vile xenophobe that he and his climate denial, his bullying attitude and his racist and sexist politics are not welcome here."

There are currently no plans for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to meet the US president however a Scottish Government spokesman said Ms Sturgeon will "consider a meeting should one be proposed".

The spokesman said: "President Trump is coming to the UK at the invitation of the UK Government. However, the Scottish Government has been planning for some time with key partners, including Police Scotland, for the possibility of the president's itinerary including a visit to Scotland. We would encourage those attending any protests to do so peacefully and safely."

Who is protecting Mr Trump during his visit?

Police Scotland have said they will draft in more than 5,000 officers to provide extra security during the visit. The UK Government has already committed to picking up the police bill.

President Trump will bring with him his own official security detail including Secret Service agents and his official limosuine, dubbed 'The Beast'. The £1.2 million Cadillac weighs eight tonnes, is bulletproof and able to survive a direct rocket or chemical warfare attack. It also has a Halon fire-suppression system, similar to that used on race cars.

Mr Trump's visit has been downgraded from an official State Visit to a more informal working visit.