President Donald Trump said he is “fine” with demonstrations being staged against his four-day U.K. visit.
Trump arrives in the country late Thursday, and his highly anticipated visit is set to be marked by demonstrations planned at various locations during his trip.
Speaking to reporters following an emergency session at the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump said he was relaxed about the expected level of protest.
“I think its fine. I like a lot of people in the U.K. I think they agree with me on immigration,” Trump said before suggesting that division in the country over Brexit had raised the political temperature.
“I’m going to a pretty hotspot right now, with a lot of resignations,” he added.
Around a dozen activists from Stand Up to Racism Scotland have already staged a demonstration at Trump’s Turnberry golf course in Scotland on Wednesday.
During the small protest, activists held up banners reading "Trump not welcome” and "No to racism, no to Trump."
According to the website stoptrump.org.uk, at least 12 official protests have been arranged in England and Wales for Thursday.
The first rally of note, titled “Together against Trump,” will take place outside Downing Street at 5.30 p.m. local time with around 5,000 people expected to take part.
The size of protest is expected to increase significantly on Friday, as more than 50,000 people have signed up to one march in London against the U.S. leader's visit. Those angry at Trump are gathering outside the BBC’s offices, before marching down to Trafalgar Square for a rally at 5 p.m. local time (midday ET).
A further 10,000 people are expected to take part in a separate women’s march along exactly the same protest route, earlier on the same day. That demonstration will end with its own rally in Parliament Square between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m London time.
At least 47 other official protests are set to take place in cities and towns around the U.K. on Friday with a further seven planned for Saturday.
The “Trump Baby” protest blimp will fly beside the U.K. Parliament on Friday, after the organizers raised more than £30,000 ($40,000) to pay for its manufacture and inflation.
The balloon is to be tethered to the grounds of Parliament Square Gardens and will also be restricted from floating higher than 30 meters (98 feet). It will fly between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. local time.
Now more than 5,000 people have signed a petition calling for permission to allow the balloon to be flown over the Turnberry golf course on Saturday. That protest is timed to coincide with an expected round of golf by Trump himself.
The petition calls on the chief of police in Scotland, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, as well as aviation authorities to allow the 20-foot balloon to be flown near the golf course.