The Green Day song “American Idiot” could be getting a second life in the U.K. thanks to Donald Trump.
This week, British protesters preparing for Trump’s first officials visit to England are leading a campaign to make the song No. 1 on the charts the day the president arrives. Initially conceived months ago when Trump’s visit was first announced, the campaign appears to be building steam and gaining plenty of support online to make it happen. The official Twitter page for the campaign has been instructing protesters to download and stream the song staring on Friday, which is the start of the week preceding Trump’s visit.
There are a number of other protests planned for when Trump arrives in the U.K., including a giant “angry baby” balloon that will fly over London when Trump makes his visit.
This comes after reports that Trump told British Prime Minister Theresa May that he would not be making a visit unless she could guarantee that there would be no protesters. As Bloomberg reported, the demand shocked May’s advisers, and May reportedly denied the request.
“May responded to say such treatment was simply the way the British press operate, and there wasn’t much she could do,” the report noted. “In the secure bunker underneath the prime minister’s office, her advisers listened in to the call in astonishment at Trump’s demand.”
Though it wasn’t written directly for Donald Trump, there is plenty of political bend behind the 2004 song at the center of the campaign. Green Day singer and songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong said he was inspired to write the song after watching cable news coverage of the Iraq War, which he compared to reality television.
Armstrong said he felt like it was a dumbing down of Americans and wanted to speak out against it.
“In the beginning, right after 9/11 and watching the sort of tanks going into Iraq and these embedded journalists going in live, it felt like a cross between war and reality television,” Armstrong told Fresh Air host Terry Gross. “So I just felt this great sort of confusion, like, someone needs to say something…. For me, I felt this moment of rage and patriotism, I guess, if you’d want to call it that. So that wrote itself in probably 30 seconds.”
Stand by…the chart begins at 00:01 on Friday and so do we
Buy a download & stream @GreenDay 'American Idiot' between Friday 6th to end of Thursday 12th July to make it the UK No.1 single on the very day Trump arrives in the UK (13th)
— American Idiot For UK No.1 When Trump Visits (@TrumpIdiotNo1) July 4, 2018
It was not clear if the campaign to get “American Idiot” to the top of the chart could gain enough steam ahead of Trump’s visit, but the idea is gaining popularity on social media with a little more than a week until Trump arrives.