President Donald Trump says no one is interested in seeing his tax returns. At least 250 people who rallied Saturday, April 15, in Syracuse disagree. “Show us your taxes, not your bombs” and “Demand Trump’s taxes,” the group chanted as it marched around the James M. Hanley Federal Building.
The local Tax Day protest took place amid an estimated 200 nationwide, with participants calling for Trump to release his tax returns. More than two-thirds of all Americans say Trump should release his tax returns, according to a January poll from the Pew Research Center.
“Yes We Care,” read several signs. “There goes Donald Rotten-tail, Hiding From the $ Trail!!” read another sign, which was carried on the warm, sunny morning before Easter. At least one Syracuse Police Department car parked nearby, with an officer watching the peaceful protest.
Participants included veteran activists as well as people who said they had never protested before Trump was elected. After the group marched for about a half-hour, they gathered to hear brief speeches.
“We all have to show our money,” said Eric van der Vort of the CNY Solidarity Coalition, one of several local groups that have organized events opposing Trump’s administration and policies. “What we’re here to say is that people are also holding him (Trump) accountable. We need to see his taxes.”
Van der Vort also criticized Trump’s budget priorities. “We need to support people,” he said. “We need to support our schools. We need to fund Planned Parenthood. And we need to not bomb anyone.”
Jonah Minkoff-Zern, director of Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign, said Trump’s tax records could reveal any business conflicts or ties to Russia. Trump’s promised tax reform will “slash taxes on the wealthy,” he added. “We’re here today for tax justice.”
The group also called on local Republican Rep. John Katko to stand up to Trump and demand he release his tax returns. After protesters confronted him last month at a Republican fundraiser in Syracuse, Katko said he would vote to demand Trump release his taxes. In fact, Katko has twice voted against measures that would have forced the House to request 10 years of the president’s tax returns.
Katko “is not representing us,” Andy Mager said. “We are demanding that or we will get rid of him.”
Renée K. Gadoua is a freelance writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter @ReneeKGadoua.
Wednesday, April 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m. “Boycott HP: Technology of Israeli Apartheid,” University United Methodist Church, 1085 E. Genesee St. Guest speaker: Ariel Gold of CODEPINK: Women for Peace. Cosponsored by United Methodist Task Force for Palestine/Israel, Syracuse Peace Council’s Justice for Palestine Committee, Palestine Solidarity Collective, Jewish Voice for Peace-Syracuse.
Thursday, April 20, 7-9 p.m. “Unite! Resist Trump’s Global Agenda and Protect Our Communities,” Bishop Harrison Center, 1342 Lancaster Ave. Speaker: Phyllis Bennis, expert on U.S./Middle East foreign relations and director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.
Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m.-noon. March for Science, Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Organized by New Feminists for Justice and others. Coincides with March for Science in Washington, D.C., and around the country.
Friday, April 28, noon. Workers Memorial Day, Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Event honors workers killed, injured and made sick by their job. Hosted by Greater Syracuse Council on Occupational Safety and Health and Central New York Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Franklin Square Park, Solar and Plum streets. People’s Climate March, in conjunction with national march in Washington, D.C. March will begin at Franklin Square and proceed via the Creekwalk to the Inner Harbor. Speakers and information tables; music by Colleen Kattau and friends and the Riverstone Trio; electric/hybrid cars; food trucks. Sponsored by Climate Change Awareness & Action and the Sierra Club.
Monday, May 1. May 1 Strike/Huelga Primero Mayo. Perseverance Park, South Salina and Washington streets. Hosted by Workers’ Center of CNY.