Protesters and politicians calling on President Trump to release his taxes took to the streets of Manhattan on Saturday, part of a national wave of similar demonstrations.
The Tax March rallies, scheduled in nearly 150 cities, were held to demand transparency and fairness from the billionaire developer, according to organizers.
The march began in Bryant Park, where thousands of sign-carrying protesters listened to a slate of liberal speakers.
“Donald Trump is a billionaire reality TV show host who never met a lie that he didn’t embrace,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries told the crowd. “Donald Trump is a living breathing conflict of interest. And the American people deserve to know what the heck he’s hiding from this great republic.”
Trump is the first president in more than 40 years that has not release his tax returns, saying it was because he was under audit. He later said that voters don’t care.
Comedian Sarah Silverman said the size of Saturday’s crowd proved otherwise.
“We all are very interested in not only where this president had business ties and who he is beholden to, but why he refuses to show us,” Silverman said. “And there is no possible explanation other than fishy s— is going on.”
The day of protests, coinciding with the date that taxes are due, was the largest public showing of anti-Trump sentiment since the Women’s March that took place the day after the President’s inauguration.
Giant inflatable chickens that resembled Trump were carried along the route to symbolize “that Trump is too chicken to release his taxes.”
Speakers included House of Cards creator Beau Willmon, Public Advocate Letitia James, actress Erin Darke and comedian Jena Friedman.
“Today we shine a spotlight on a secret government. We demand an open and transparent government,” James said. “Because sunshine is indeed the best disinfectant. And it is the best defense against corruption. And questionable business interests that will compromise our security as a country.”
While the Midtown procession from Bryant Park went off smoothly, 13 people were arrested after a violent clash between pro-Trump and anti-Trump forces in Berkeley, Calif.
Police in riot gear confiscated knives and makeshift weapons before the showdown subsided.
At a similar protest in Las Vegas, cops arrested a KLAS-TV photojournalist accused of refusing to stop filming the march from private property, on the Fashion Show Mall.
In Florida, Trump’s motorcade was forced to take a detour because of demonstrators who blocked bridges between his Mar-a-Lago resort and one of his golf courses, where he spent the day.
Several hundred protesters marched across the bridge that divides West Palm Beach and Palm Beach, chanting and hoisting signs that read “Don the Con,” “Go back to New York,” “Show your taxes!” and “Show me the money!”
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.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Friday posted an online video urging Congress to force Trump to release the returns.
Democrats are pushing for a vote on a bill that 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.
With News Wire Services