People around the world are evidently eager to share their antipathy toward President Trump. And in this day and age where movements are often grown through viral social media posts, online petitions have been racking up record numbers.
More than 1.6 million Brits signed a petition asking their prime minister to rescind Trump's invitation for a state visit there. That total makes it the second-most signed petition in the country, after last summer's plea to redo the fateful Brexit vote.
A petition on Avaaz.org, open to signatories of all nationalities, has now garnered upward of 4.2 million names and counting.
The petition is formulated as a letter addressed to Trump. “This is not what greatness looks like,” it begins. “The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering, and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you.”
Global ire has coalesced around Trump's temporary ban on admitting refugees as well as nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries. The petition's landing page refers to Trump's order as a “Muslim ban,” and says it shows “that the worst fears about his Presidency are true.”
The U.K.-only petition against Trump's state visit invitation passed 100,000 signatures, and thus must be discussed in Parliament. That debate is scheduled for Feb. 20. A rival petition in favor of Trump's visit has now reached more than 120,000 signatures, so it will also merit a debate in Parliament.
The petition in favor of Trump's visit reads: “Donald Trump should be invited to make an official State Visit because he is the leader of a free world and U.K. is a country that supports free speech and does not believe that people that appose our point of view should be gagged.”
In the face of loud opposition, British Prime Minister Theresa May has reiterated her intention to uphold the invitation and suggested on Monday that she had extended it on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.