Thousands of protesters in San Francisco, the Bay Area and across the nation participated in an anti-Trump Tax March this past Saturday. The demonstrations were part of a larger effort to persuade the recently inaugurated 45th President of the United States to release his annual tax returns.
Crowds began forming early on Saturday afternoon at the Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco, and at 3pm PST the march down Market Street to the Embarcadero began. There was a large rally in front of City Hall that lasted for approximately one hour, at the end of which protesters began chanting anti-Trump slogans such as, “Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!”
Other attendees held signs that read, “Drop your tax returns instead of bombs” and “Lesbians love taxes, Donald. Show us yours!” Even San Francisco Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made an appearance at the rally and started a chant of her own: “Donald Trump, who do you owe? We must know!”
Before rhetorically asking Trump, “Why are you so chicken?” to cheers from the largely partisan crowd, Pelosi pointed out that each week Democrats introduce new legislation aimed at forcing President Trump to release his annual tax returns. Pelosi claimed that 100% of Democrats vote to approve the legislation each time, but as of yet there have been insufficient Republican votes for the measure to pass.
Jane Kim, San Francisco’s city supervisor, also spoke at the rally in front of City Hall. Kim said that the demand for Trump to release his federal tax returns is about more than President Trump himself. She said U.S. citizens want the rich to be held accountable because of the ever-increasing income and wealth gaps. “I’m not afraid to call Trump an enemy of this state,” Kim said to the audience. “We, the American people, want to know: Was our president honest?” she added.
Any tax attorney in San Francisco can tell you that U.S. Presidents are not legally required to publicly release their annual tax returns, although each President since the early 1970s has done so voluntarily. Trump said prior to his being elected that he would release his returns after a federal audit was completed, but he has also said that voters aren’t interested in the details of his state or federal tax returns. Tuesday, April 18 is the filing deadline to file tax returns for this year (it’s normally April 15 but that date fell on a Saturday this year) and the anti-Trump Tax March attendees are insisting that Trump release his returns by the close of business on Tuesday.
Many protesters decided to attend the rally in San Francisco, not just to support the movement calling for the President to release his annual tax returns, but to call into question his business ties and potential conflicts of interest that may arise during his presidency. Menlo Park resident Diane Walter made the trip to San Francisco for the rally. Walter readily admits she is not a fan of Trump. “I’m hoping to advertise the fact that the Trump administration is in bed with Russia,” said Walter as she stood next to the 30-foot-tall Trump Chicken (complete with golden-coiffed hair) that was placed next to City hall for the rally. “I’d like to see the entire administration impeached.”
The organizers of the Tax March posted on their website that until the President releases his tax return annually the American people will never know, “what he is hiding” or “who his policies are designed to benefit.” Apart from the event in San Francisco, anti-Trump Tax March demonstrations were organized in at least 150 cities across the United States, including the main march in Washington, D.C.
Trump, for his part, avoided the chaotic scene in Washington by spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Several hundred protesters lined the streets leading to the estate, but the President’s motorcade took a different route than normal to avoid the demonstrators who were chanting and waving signs.
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