Protest will mark the Fourth of July this week in Washington as President Donald Trump takes the opportunity provided by the holiday to promote himself on Thursday.
The event is generating backlash from a number left-wing groups who plan to take part in demonstrations against the president.
On Wednesday, journalists reported that Trump supporters were already flooding the mall in advance of Trump's speech.
Protesters will hit the National Mall Thursday in advance of and during the president's planned remarks at the Lincoln Memorial.
According to The Washington Post:
A coalition of more than 20 groups—including Black Lives Matter D.C., immigrants rights group Sanctuary DMV and anti-gentrification organization Keep D.C. 4 Me—will host an all-day counterdemonstration at Pershing Park. Members of the District's communities of color will lead a dance party to go-go music for "black, brown, and indigenous joy in the face of white nationalism and supremacy."
Anti-war group CodePink will be there with the now famous "Baby Trump" balloon in tow. The balloon will stay grounded, however, because D.C.'s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency won't let it fly.
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"It is ironic that it is right here, in the 'land of the free,' the balloon is being grounded," said CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin.
There will also be a flag burning, led by Gregory "Joey" Johnson, the main plaintiff in the 1989 case that allowed the practice as free speech.
"When I see that flag burn, I'm not only thinking of the children who are starved and bombed by the U.S. in Yemen, or the children who are torn from their parents along the U.S.-Mexico border," Johnson told the Post. "This is the workings of a system that the U.S. dominates . . . built on the plunder of literally billions of people around the world."
During Trump's remarks on Thursday, a number of protesters plan to turn their backs on the president.
It's unclear if any of the protests will matter, though, as New York Magazine pointed out:
It won't be easy for detractors to make themselves seen. Late last week, officials announced a VIP section in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The tickets to access the area were to be distributed by the White House, ensuring that protesters won't be able to pack the area in front of Trump's podium.
U.S. Park Police Sergeant Eduardo Delgado, in comment to the press, said that officers were ready for demonstrations on Thursday to turn violent but hoped that would not be the case.
"We'll have people in different locations and watching," said Delgado. "We prepare for the worst and hope for the best."