Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull isn’t the only person who’ll be turning out to greet Donald Trump in the US president’s home town.
The native New Yorker, whose image for decades was interwoven with his hometown, is making his first trip back to Manhattan since being sworn in on January 20.
Several protests are planned across New York City, including near the USS Intrepid on the Hudson River, where Trump is scheduled to meet with Mr Turnbull on Friday (AEST), and at the president’s home at Trump Tower.
The rallies threaten to snarl Manhattan’s streets and produce images of a city rejecting its most famous native son.
“Thousands of people are ready to protest Donald Trump,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, which is co-organising one of the large-scale protests. “On the president’s first trip back to New York City, the world will see us rise up and oppose him again.”
The New York Police Department is gearing up for the visit with an eye towards those anti-Trump demonstrations. The turnout is uncertain, but activists are using Facebook and other social media to call on protesters to gather at several locations throughout the city to voice opposition to his immigration, health care and other policies.
Hundreds of police officers will be assigned to secure Trump’s Intrepid appearance, with more on standby on surrounding blocks if needed to make arrests.
Trump will deliver a speech on the USS Intrepid, a World War II-era aircraft carrier, and hold his first meeting with Turnbull since their stormy and contentious phone call in February, when the Australian insisted the new president honour a deal cut with his predecessor in the lame-duck days of the Obama administration.
A show of force is already a fixture at Trump Tower, where the Secret Service and heavily armed NYPD officers have used barricades, checkpoints and street closings to secure the iconic skyscraper where the president has a penthouse apartment.