Portsmouth protest planned as Donald Trump becomes president

President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a pre-Inaugural event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington
President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a pre-Inaugural event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington
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Protesters plan to demonstrate in Portsmouth Guildhall Square this afternoon as coverage of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president is beamed live on the city’s big screen.

The show of opposition will come as demonstrations are planned across the UK as well as in America during the ceremony in Washington at 5pm GMT.

The Portsmouth demo is organised by the city’s Stand Up To Racism group, which earlier this month launched a ‘Stand Up To Trump’ campaign.

Simon Magorian from Portsmouth Stand Up To Racism said: ‘We’ll be creating “Trump’s Wall of Shame” to expose his bigoted attitudes and hateful policies.

‘We want people to get involved and take a stand against scapegoating opportunists everywhere, who try to spread hate and division to advance their own interests. We also want local councillors, campaigners and faith leaders to sign the Stand Up To Trump statement.

‘We need to show bigots and racists everywhere that there are many of us who will oppose their vile views.’

Mr Trump has pledged to unify America as he prepares to be sworn in as US president, amid plans for widespread protests and a boycott by dozens of politicians.

The tycoon-turned-politician will address hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington DC and millions watching around the world, in his first speech as the 45th president of the United States.

A massive security operation has been launched ahead of the event, including a heavily guarded perimeter around the US Capitol building where Mr Trump will deliver his inaugural address.

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets of cities around the world in opposition to Mr Trump’s presidency.

Demonstrators clashed with police outside a pro-Trump rally in Washington on Thursday night, while protest group DisruptJ20 has said it will try to shut down or cause delays at security checkpoints at the inauguration ceremony.

Speaking at a concert at the Lincoln Memorial on the eve of his inauguration, Mr Trump told supporters: “We’re going to unify our country.

“We’re going to make American great for all our people.

“We’re going to do things that haven’t been done for our country for many, many decades. It’s going to change.”

After forecasters predicted rain in Washington DC on Friday, Mr Trump added: “I don’t care frankly if it’s going to be beautiful or if it’s going to rain like crazy. It makes no difference to me.

“I have a feeling it’s going to be beautiful.”

Mr Trump is reportedly drafting a relatively short inaugural speech with the help of Stephen Miller, his incoming senior White House adviser for policy.

Hillary Clinton is listed to attend the inauguration ceremony with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, despite her bitterly fought election loss. President Barack Obama and former president George W Bush will also attend.

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who was the first British politician to meet Mr Trump after his election victory, has travelled to Washington for the ceremony.

Some 65 Democratic Congress members have said they will boycott Mr Trump’s inauguration following his row with congressman John Lewis.

Mr Lewis called Mr Trump’s victory illegitimate because of Russia’s alleged interference in the election, prompting the president-elect to brand the civil rights activist as “all talk, talk, talk - no action or results”.

Mr Trump will take part in the presidential procession and parade after he is sworn as president, before attending the inaugural ball at the Walter E Washington Convention Centre later that evening.

On Saturday, celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Amy Schumer and Patricia Arquette have said they will attend a women’s march on Washington which is expected to attract 200,000 people.

Mr Trump has said he will not start attending to presidential duties until Monday.