President Donald Trump is set to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday to commemorate a 100-year partnership between France and the United States. But while Macron might be setting aside prior differences for the historic meeting, all indications show that Parisians won’t be so hospitable.
The Facebook activist group Paris Against Trump is set to build a “No Trump Zone” on Thursday evening at the Place de la Republique, one of Paris’ most prominent squares, to celebrate Bastille Day and express their grievances against the American president. The group will partner with anti-racist groups and other organizations, including an American contingent.
The upcoming protests in Paris are part of a larger movement across Europe that has targeted Trump’s xenophobic and neoliberal rhetoric. On July 7, around 10,000 protesters converged in Hamburg, Germany, to protest Trump as he met with other world leaders at the G20 summit.
And feelings of hostility toward Trump are not isolated to Europe. A recent Pew Research poll, which surveyed 37 countries, indicated that only 22 percent of participants felt confident in Trump’s ability to successfully coordinate international affairs. That differs drastically from Obama’s 64 percent approval rating in response to the same question.
The poll indicated that Trump’s presidency has hurt the world’s overall perception of United States as well. Only 49 percent of the those surveyed had a favorable view of the U.S. compared to 64 percent during the previous presidency.
While it’s difficult to assess how protests directly correlate to Trump’s decisions as president, there’s evidence that demonstrations are indeed having an effect on his willingness to visit countries where he is particularly disliked. In a phone conversation in June for example, he reportedly expressed concern about visiting England in person because of the threat of large-scale protests.
All indications show that Trump’s meeting in France will still take place despite Paris Against Trump’s planned protests. But Trump won’t leave the country without seeing Paris as just one city among many where he is now wholly unwelcome.