National Security

UK Group Protesting Trump Tied to Corbyn’s Labor Party

Hard-left faction of Labor Party calls on members to take to the streets

People protest Donald Trump's February visit to the UK
People protest Donald Trump's February visit to the UK / Getty Images

President Donald Trump's four-day visit to Britain this week is set to be disrupted by a hard-left faction of the UK opposition Labor Party that has scheduled protests across London.

Momentum, a UK-based activist group born out of the election of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, has called on its 35,000 members to rally against Trump upon his arrival Thursday in what organizers expect will be "one of the largest protests in over a decade."

"Donald Trump is coming to UK," the group said in a video ad posted to Facebook last week. "We're protesting his visit. We don't need to explain why you should come. It's obvious really … you've seen the news right?"

Momentum evolved from Corbyn's 2015 leadership bid and has since become a powerful political force that campaigns within the Labor Party to shift it further left, advocating for issues such as redistribution of wealth and the nationalization of large swaths of British industry, including railways, the energy sector, and public services. The group has also called on the government to provide "decent homes for all" and hopes to build "a society free from all types of discrimination," including income inequality.

While in England, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth. Corbyn last month called on May to cancel the presidential visit and has encouraged activists to turn out and give him a "very clear message."

Momentum did not respond to a request for comment.

The group is among several left-wing organizations planning nationwide demonstrations against Trump, who is visiting the UK from Thursday to Sunday following talks in Brussels with NATO allies and ahead of a trip to Finland to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has feuded with Trump on Twitter, granted demonstrators permission to fly a giant orange balloon depicting Trump as a baby over Parliament on Friday before the blimp follows the president to Scotland.

The U.K.-based "Stop Trump Coalition," which helped organize a "Carnival of Resistance" that will feature protesters throwing rubber boots at a Trump doll, said on Facebook it expects "millions" to take to the streets in protest of the American president. Police expect more than 100,000 protesters.

The president will largely stay clear of London, where the majority of protests are scheduled to take place, the Guardian reported, citing a schedule released by Downing Street. U.S. ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson rejected speculation that Trump was trying to avoid demonstrations, telling the Guardian "the president is merely trying to get as impactful a trip as he can get."