Thousands of protesters took to the streets across the United States Saturday to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns.
The crowd in New York City stretched for blocks as speakers stood next to a giant inflatable rooster, bearing Trump’s golden hairdo, on a stage in Bryant Park Saturday afternoon.
Comedy writer Frank Lesser, whose tweet in January sparked the idea for the Tax March, said the participation in the nationwide marches proves that people want to see Trump’s returns.
The demonstrators left Bryant Park at about 2:30 p.m. to march to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, chanting, “No more secrets, no more lies. Show your taxes, show your ties” as they walked.
“We march to demand that the president release his returns, as he has repeatedly promised, but failed, to do,” the Tax March website reads. “We march because it is in the best interest of the American people to know what financial entanglements and conflicts of interest our leaders have.”
Trump has repeatedly said he can not release his tax returns because they are under audit, though many tax experts have said he is not barred from releasing the information during the audit.
In Chicago, the protest started at Daley Square in downtown. It is more like an outdoor gathering: an orchestra band playing at intervals, many protestors dancing to the tune of the music; toddlers sat in strollers, and infants carried in parents’ arms.
Protesters holding placards and banners that read “I demand transparency,” “Donald, release your taxes,” and “What are you hiding?”
“We are not reporters, but we care,” said a protester, referring to Trump’s remarks that only reporters care about his tax return.
After the organizers took turn to give speeches, the protestors marched northward and stopped on the bank of the Chicago River across the Trump Tower.
Other tax marches took place in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and dozens of other cities. They coincide with the April 18 deadline for tax returns in 2017.
A petition demanding him release them garnered more than 1 million signatures. Many lawmakers, including some Republicans, have also called on Trump to make them public.