US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a trip to a Harley-Davidson factory due to planned protests.
The President was planning to go to Milwaukee on Thursday to do a tour of the factory and sign executive orders relating to US manufacturing. While the trip had not been publicly announced, White House staffers had gone to the Midwestern city, which he won at the election, to prepare for the visit.
A White House official told CNN the company had decided it was not comfortable hosting him with protests planned and Trump was no longer expected to travel to the city.
Harley-Davidson issued a statement saying they “don’t have, nor did we have, a scheduled visit from the President this week at any of our facilities”.
Massive protests were in the pipeline for the event in the wake of Trump’s hardline immigration ban which has sparked chaos and outrage around the world.
Trump’s plan to sign an executive order about manufacturing in a quintessentially American factory in a key battleground state, which has a large population of white-working class Democrats, would have served a symbolic purpose.
The Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump applauded the decision to call off the visit which was set to be one of the President’s first press events outside of Washington.
“Fearing a massive protest, Trump was forced to cancel his event after a massive backlash from the community over his scheduled appearance at Harley-Davidson,” their statement read. “The location of Trump’s event, which was supposed to remain secret, was leaked by activists and a rally was planned outside the Harley-Davidson plant in Menomonee Falls.”
The eleventh hour decision to cancel the trip is an example of the logistical difficulties the Trump team confronts in the face of mounting protests in an increasingly polarised country. Trump was also forced to cancel a campaign event in Chicago last year due to violent clashes erupting between protesters.