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Protests kick off ahead of Trump visit

Activists from Stand Up to Racism Scotland (SUTR) stage a protest at the Trump Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire, ahead of the US president's arrival in the UK. Picture by David Cheskin, Press Association
Catriona Webster, Press Association

Protests against Donald Trump are under way in Scotland, with a demonstration held outside one of his golf courses.

Around a dozen activists from Stand Up to Racism Scotland (SUTR) staged a brief protest at the Trump Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire ahead of the US president's arrival in the UK.

Setting up on the golf course at the foot of the hotel drive, the group brandished banners with the slogans "Trump not welcome" and "No to racism, no to Trump".

They shouted "lock up Trump, let the children go", and mocked up a caged Mr Trump to draw attention to his administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the US/Mexico border.

Charlotte Ahmed, 57, a teacher and SUTR Glasgow spokeswoman, said she hopes tens of thousands of people will turn out for protests organised up and down the country this weekend.

She said: "He's a racist, he's a misogynist, he's a warmonger, he's a liar and his actions are encouraging racists and fascists all over the world.

"This is a really frightening thing that such a person should be coming to Scotland, this beautiful country.

"We are hoping that hundreds of thousands of people don't want Trump here and we want to make sure that the protests are seen and heard as widely as possible.

"He will get a warm welcome from the people who would always welcome a person like that.

"He's not going to be out and about meeting ordinary people, but I think if he was he'd get a very different welcome.

"So we're welcoming hopefully tens of thousands of people to the streets of Scotland and also other places this weekend to say Trump is not welcome here, your values aren't represented here, and we don't want them here."

Rory Anderson, 32, also from Glasgow, said: "We've got to show a sign of solidarity with children who are put in cages.

"It's absolutely unacceptable to even think that he would be welcome in Scotland or welcome to come and try and further his message across the globe. It will be met with resistance at every single point.

"He's not welcome, his politics aren't welcome and he is not welcome.

"He's creating divisions and we're not going to stand for it. We'll fight him at every corner."

More gatherings and rallies are planned across the UK from Thursday, when Mr Trump is expected to touch down in Britain.

With Mr Trump set to travel to Scotland on Friday evening a protest is planned for Glasgow's George Square.

While no plans for Mr Trump to enjoy a round of golf have been confirmed, a rally will be held outside the president's Balmedie course in Aberdeenshire on Saturday, and it is expected there could be further demonstrations at Turnberry.

A national demonstration is planned at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Saturday, as well as a "Carnival of Resistance" in the Meadows area of the capital.

Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that the monarch will meet the American leader and First Lady Melania Trump at the dais in the Quadrangle of the historic Berkshire royal residence on Friday.

A Guard of Honour, formed of the Coldstream Guards, will give a Royal Salute and the US national anthem will be played.

The Queen and Mr Trump will inspect the Guard of Honour before watching the military march past.

Mr and Mrs Trump will also join the Queen for tea at the Castle.

The Queen has received three other US Presidents at Windsor Castle since the 1980s - Barack Obama in 2016, George W Bush in 2008 and Ronald Reagan in 1982.

One of the biggest ever police operations will be staged to cover Mr Trump's brief stay in the UK.

Nearly every force in England and Wales has contributed officers to help with the massive mobilisation, the biggest since the 2011 riots.

Thousands of officers will be on duty to cover the visit, during which President Trump is expected to visit locations including Blenheim Palace, Chequers, Windsor Castle, the US ambassador's official residence in Regent's Park, London, and Scotland.

Mr Trump's royal encounter is not a state visit - an offer that was extended to him by Prime Minister Theresa May in the early days of his presidency.

There will be no carriage procession and no opulent state banquet, and no other members of the royal family will call in to Windsor to meet the controversial billionaire-turned-politician.

When the then US president Barack Obama dropped in to see the Queen at Windsor Castle in 2016 - the day after her 90th birthday - he and Michelle Obama had lunch with the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh in the castle's private dining room.

Philip, who has now retired from public duties, even took the responsibility of driving the Obamas, and the Queen, the short distance from their helicopter to the castle in the Queen's Range Rover.

In the evening, the Obamas dined with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at Kensington Palace, and Prince George stayed up late to meet them.

Mr Obama carried out a state visit to the UK in 2011, as did George W Bush in 2003.

Ronald Reagan's visit to Windsor in 1982 was also not a state visit but, unlike Mr Trump, he was hosted with a glittering banquet for 160 guests in the castle's St George's Hall.

The Queen wore a tiara, as did the monarch's sister Princess Margaret, to the grand formal white tie occasion, which was also attended by the Prince of Wales.

Speeches were delivered by both the Queen and Mr Reagan, with the monarch paying tribute to the lasting friendship between the nations.

She also mentioned how much she had enjoyed riding her horses with the American leader earlier in the day.

Mr Reagan stayed with the Queen at Windsor.

George W Bush's whistle-stop tour to the UK in 2008, five years after his state visit, saw him visit Windsor Castle, where he had tea with the Queen in the White Drawing Room.

The monarch also gave Mr Bush and his wife Laura a tour of some of the castle's state apartments, including the restored St George's Hall.

In the Green Drawing Room, they viewed a private exhibition of pictures, letters and other items relating to visits to the UK by US presidents and royal trips to the US.

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