As President Donald Trump prepares to visit the United Kingdom on July 13th, protesters are gearing up to oppose the president’s visit. In London, Trump will be greeted by a number of demonstrations — including a (potential) giant “Trump Baby” balloon. But those aren’t the only ways British citizens will “welcome” him. Ahead of Trump’s arrival, the 2004 Green Day song “American Idiot” has once again broken into the U.K.’s top singles charts, thanks to efforts on social media.
The song’s reappearance is no accident. In May, a Facebook page and Twitter account were created to encourage the people of the U.K. to make “American Idiot” the number one single the day Trump lands in the country. The social media campaign instructs participants to download the song between July 6th and July 12th in order to top the single chart the day of Trump’s arrival. Posts from the Twitter account use the hashtag #MAIGA — Make “American Idiot” Great Again.
Green Day would very likely approve of this creative form of protest. Although lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong has said in interviews that the band originally wrote “American Idiot” about the turmoil of the George W. Bush administration, they have previously performed the song in “honor” of Trump. And “American Idiot” is already gaining visibility as a result of the effort. HuffPost reported that as of July 9th, the single had edged its way into the U.K. singles chart’s top 20, and had also reached the top spot on Amazon’s bestsellers list. It’s also in the iTunes top 10.
According to CNN, Trump’s trip, which was announced in April, is classified as a “working visit” rather than an official state visit. During the three days he’s in the U.K., the president will meet with both Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May, but he will not visit the prime minister’s official office on Downing Street. As BBC News correspondent James Lansdale noted, May has disagreed with Trump on issues from his Muslim travel ban to his trade policy. Lansdale even wrote that Trump’s visit “will test a relationship that has recently become much harder to keep special.”
Regardless of the outcome, it seems like the protest has already made a mark. We’ll be keeping an eye on the charts to see if “American Idiot” really does reach number one.