Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in Philadelphia and 150 other cities on Saturday to pressure President Trump to release his tax returns ahead of the Tuesday’s tax filing deadline.
Organizers said the protests — dubbed the Tax March — were to ask the president: “What are you hiding?”
Bill Sellers of Philadelphia, a self-described center-right independent, said it was his first protest.
“There’s absolutely no transparency. We have no idea what his connections are to another government. We have no idea what his entanglements are. He lies like a sociopath. And nobody seems to be able to say or do anything about it.”
Trump is the first major party nominee in more than 40 years not to release his tax returns, saying it was because he was under audit. He later said that voters don’t care.
He is the first to refuse to release them since the tradition began in the 1970s.
“We do care. We want to see his taxes,” said Ann Demerlis, who was among hundreds who marched in Philadelphia from City Hall to an area in front of historic Independence Hall, carrying signs and chanting “We want your taxes now!”
“It’s possible that he can now show his taxes, because his current taxes are not being audited,” said Demerlis, who carried a sign saying, “Follow the Money.”
Katey Dyck also cares. She and her two young children drove in from Philadelphia’s suburbs to attend the protest. “I don’t think we should have a commander in chief who is not disclosing where his financial ties are. If he has nothing to hide, I think he should follow the precedent of all presidents who came before him.”
Trailing the hundreds of chanting protesters were a handful of Trump supporters.
Mike Nigh was one of them and didn’t take issue with the event’s message.
“I think most Trump supporters agree. Just release the tax returns.” Planners said they hoped the marches would inspire more people to call their elected officials about the issue.
Across the nationThe Washington, D.C., march began with a rally at the U.S. Capitol, where Sen. Ron Wyden called on Trump to ‘knock off the secrecy.” The Oregon Democrat says the people have “a basic right to know whether the president pays his fair share.”
For four decades, presidents and major party nominees have released some of their tax returns, with the exception of Gerald Ford. Trump’s break with precedent has raised questions about possible conflicts of interest.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, has said Trump’s refusal to release his returns could hinder Republicans’ prospects for a rewrite of the tax code.
Activists in West Palm Beach, Florida, are rallying rally near Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort, where he plans to spend the Easter weekend.
Protesters began converging on Cambridge Common in Massachusetts, where they also plan to call on the all-Democratic Massachusetts Congressional delegation to oppose Trump’s budget proposal. They say the proposed cuts to health care, education, transportation are cruel and inhumane.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, on Friday posted an online video urging Congress to force Trump to release the returns. Democrats are pushing for a vote on a bill from Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California, which would require the president and all major-party nominees to publicly disclose their previous three years of tax returns with the Office of Government Ethics or the Federal Election Commission.
Republicans also have rebuffed Democrats’ efforts to get the House Ways and Means Committee to act. It has legal authority to obtain confidential tax records, and could vote to make them public.
Tuesday is the deadline for taxpayers to file returns.