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Brits launch campaign to get ‘American Idiot’ back on U.K. music charts for Trump’s visit

Nardine Saad
Los Angeles Times

Ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom this week, some Britons are attempting to “annoy” the U.S. president by launching a campaign to catapult the 2004 hit “American Idiot” to the top of the U.K. music charts.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One as they arrive at London's Stansted Airport, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

And it appears to be gaining momentum, with the Green Day song popping on and off British charts this week.

In late April, protesters across the pond launched the campaign to play the anti-establishment anthem to make it the official No. 1 single in the U.K. by the time Trump arrives on Friday, when he’s set to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II.

Organizers called on their supporters to download or play the song across an array of platforms on July 6-13 so that it makes “the top spot on that very day he arrives.”

The impetus, said administrators on the campaign’s Facebook page, is that it would be “hilarious and reckon thousands more will find it hilarious too,” adding that it is “an idiotic campaign for an idiotic man.”

In this photo taken on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, a six-meter high cartoon baby blimp of U.S. President Donald Trump stands inflated during a practice session in Bingfield Park, north London. Trump will get the red carpet treatment on his brief visit to England that begins Thursday: Military bands at a gala dinner, lunch with the prime minister at her country place, then tea with the queen at Windsor Castle before flying off to one of his golf clubs in Scotland. But trip planners may go out of their way to shield Trump from viewing another aspect of the greeting: an oversize balloon depicting the president as an angry baby in a diaper that will be flown from Parliament Square during what are expected to be massive gatherings of protesters opposed to Trump’s presence. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Green Day’s Mike Dirnt gave the campaign a tweet of approval when it launched in late April. The Times has reached out to reps for Green Day, who did not immediately have a comment on Tuesday.

The self-described “peaceful protest” came with choice insults for Trump that we can’t publish here. However, the taunts were not limited to the U.S. leader. They also included criticism of the British prime minister and her government, calling it “the weakest, lamest government in living memory.”

Pro-Trump Facebook users showed a spectrum of distaste for the campaign, and scolded organizers for simply lining the pockets of the record company and the band “who don’t need the money.”

Incidentally, the song and its eponymous album have been adapted for Broadway and Trump tweeted that he loved seeing the musical on its opening night in 2010.