Tax March PDX organized a rally demanding President Trump release his latest tax returns at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 15 at Terry Schrunk Plaza as part of a nationwide movement. The rally was attended by thousands of Portlanders donning chicken masks, pussy hats, and carrying signs that demanded the president release his tax returns. Trump is the first president in 40 years not to release his tax returns.
“In January, Kellyanne Conway announced Trump would not be releasing his tax returns because Americans ‘just don’t care,’” explained the Facebook event page for Tax March PDX. “That’s just not true. Seventy-four percent of Americans do care and over 60 cities will be marching to make sure we are heard!”
According to event speaker, Mirah Streeter, 94 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of people of color, and “the majority of Republican women” all want the president to release his tax returns.
The TMP rally hosted several speakers who spoke about immigration, transparency, and an overview of the actions being taken by democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley in Washington, D.C. Such actions include the introduction of the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, sponsored by Wyden and supported by Merkley.
“Every major party nominee would be required to release at least three years of their tax returns and every sitting president would have to release their tax returns annually,” said speaker Grace Straten, on behalf of Wyden in regard to the new bill. “It’s because we know that the American people demand to know the answers that could be in his tax returns.”
According to Straten, Sen. Wyden also published an open letter to the president, which had gathered over 20,000 signatures at the time of the march.
“Without the tax returns of the president, Americans cannot be confident that the president is acting in their best interests and not his own,” stated Wyden’s latest petition letter addressing Trump’s tax returns. “You ran on fair and simpler tax code, promising to drain the swamp and close the loopholes that allow corporations to play by a different set of rules than working Americans.”
Other speakers included first and second-hand experiences with the struggles of living without immigration documentation.
“For many of my family members growing up, the injustice of being undocumented was made so much worse from the shame of having to hide and live in secrecy,” explained Ana, another speaker, who did not provide her last name. “Never knowing when you would be discovered and ripped apart from your family just for exercising your basic right to live and work with dignity.”
“When Donald Trump refuses to hand over his documents, not only does he betray the values of honesty and transparency that we all hold dear, but he also spits in the face of all our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters,” Ana explained.
TMP’s peaceful protest march was lead by a performing musical band and police escort along the waterfront for a little under an hour. Protesters chanted, “We are the people,” “Show us your taxes,” and “This is what democracy looks like,” until finally reconvening at the plaza for a debrief.