British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with President Donald Trump and Republican Party leaders in Philadelphia on Thursday, an event that has prompted plans for a large anti-Trump protest outside City Hall.
Organized on Facebook, the rally Resistance in Philly: Fighting for our Lives had more than 1,500 people saying they planned to attend by Monday morning. Their issue is health care, not foreign affairs. The group said it is opposing one of Trump’s first official actions, which essentially calls for the end of the Affordable Care Act.
“We commit to take non-violent direct action to resist any attempts to take away our healthcare,” the event page says. “And whatever is on their next agenda of greed and hate, whether it’s deporting our neighbors or building a racist registry — that will also not work. We will continue to stand together, resist,and win.”
Trump’s visit to Philadelphia is his first since before Election Day. Though many of his campaign stops included the city’s suburbs, the 45th president’s most recent trip was a closed-door meeting with African-American voters in September 2016.
For their meeting this week, Trump and the British prime minister will attend the annual Republican Retreat, joined by GOP members of Congress. May’s spokesman said she will stress to the new president the value of free trade and her support for the Iran nuclear deal. Former President Obama pushed for that deal, while Trump has maligned it.
Thursday also marks a historic moment for May: She will become the first serving head of state to speak at the annual retreat, before traveling to Washington on Friday for further talks with Trump.
May’s spokeswoman expects the prime minister to address the future of British-American ties. While Trump praised England’s vote last year to leave the European Union — comments cheered by Brexit supporters — he has also pushed protectionist policies. His inaugural speech promise to put “America first,” had some questioning the future of free trade between the two nations.
“You can expect the prime minister to be very clear during her U.S. visit on the benefits of free trade and championing them and wanting to look at what more can be done to increase that,” May’s spokeswoman told reporters on Monday.
Reuters contributed to this report.