Thousands march demanding Trump release taxes
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON – Tens of thousands of people marched through midtown Manhattan and dozens of U.S. cities on Saturday to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns and to dispute his claim that the public does not care about the issue.
Organisers of “Tax March” in more than 150 cities across the country and beyond wanted to call attention to Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax history, as his White House predecessors have done for more than 40 years.
The marches coincide with the traditional April 15 deadline for U.S. federal tax returns, though the filing date was pushed backed two days this year.
There were no reports of violence or arrests, in contrast to a clash between Trump supporters and opponents that erupted at a rally in Berkeley, California, where nine people were arrested.
Two of the biggest tax marches took place in New York and Los Angeles, with each drawing about 5 000 people, according to estimates by Reuters reporters. No official estimates were immediately available.
In Manhattan, a good-natured crowd rallied at Bryant Park before marching up Sixth Avenue to Central Park.
Among the marchers was an oversized inflatable rooster, sporting an angry expression and a sweeping metallic orange hairdo meant to resemble Trump’s signature style.
“Thanks to Trump, I think that releasing your taxes when you run for president now has to be a law,” said New Yorker Marni Halasa, 51, who arrived in a tutu and leggings made of fake dollar bills and holding a sign that read “Show Me The Money!”
In Washington, more than 1 500 protesters gathered on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol, where members of Congress addressed the crowd before it marched to the Lincoln Memorial.
“We are taking the gloves off to say knock off the secrecy Mr President,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which would play a leading role in tax reform measures being considered in Congress.
He described Trump’s refusal to release his taxes as being “like a teenager trying to hide a lousy report card”.
As a candidate and as president, Trump has refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has said that Trump can release his tax returns even while under audit.
The White House could not be reached immediately for comment on the marches. (Reuters)