Thousands march in Los Angeles for President Trump’s tax returns

Cities across the United States joined in a protest on Saturday to demand the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

On the west coast, the city of Los Angeles had a gathering of an estimated 10,000 people, according to the Los Angeles police department.

Protesters could be seen on street corners, in front of restaurants and stores as well as on every city block in the around Pershing Square in downtown LA. People from Los Angeles as well as cities around the country attended the event.

“I personally feel that he was hiding something on his tax returns and all I can say is I need [Trump] out,” said Mary Reddington, a protester who stood on the corner of Seventh Street and South Grand Avenue.

Since Trump began his campaign, he has been reluctant to disclose his tax returns, a presidential tradition to show transparency that has been used since the 1970s.

During his election campaign in 2016, Trump was asked by reporters when he would release his taxes. Multiple times he’s avoided their requests by claiming that he is under audit and is unable to, while the Internal Revenue Service denied this inability.

Trump later said, “I don’t think anybody cares,” in an interview with ABC regarding his information on tax returns – polls later showed this claim to be false among citizens.

The protest began at Pershing Square and moved toward City Hall as people chanted phrases such as “Lock him up,” a play on the phrase “Lock her up!” as a reference to Hillary Clinton from the 2016 election.

Trump made promises to constituents that he would hire prosecutor to look into Clinton’s use of a private email server.

“Him not showing his taxes is something no other president has done before. And as citizens, we deserve to know where this money is going,” said Rachel London, a resident of LA.

Local and state representatives came to speak during the event, including state Congressman Ted Lieu, Rep. Brad Sherman, state Sen. Mike McGuire of the second Senate District.

Topics included Trump’s lack of disclosure and the administration’s policies on immigration and the inequalities between working class people and the wealthy.

“It’s shocking to me that Trump and his administration think only news agencies are interested in his taxes,” said Claudia Perea, a protester from LA. “We want to make sure he’s not beholden to Russia financially.”

The Tax March group, a collection of political and social advocates, is suspicious on why Trump has refused to release his taxes and why Congress has protected him from doing so. Advocates and citizens alike feel that this act poses a threat to American democracy and have organized to protest this and the entire Trump administration.

Protesters used a variety of signs and each with their own creativity by attaching tax forms to boards which they wore on their chest and back with the words, “Lead by example.”  

Protester Dawn Dorland said Saturday’s demonstration benefitted the people in reconnecting with each other politically and for showing unity during a time of division.

“I thought it was important to show up. When Kellyanne Conway said that the tax returns don’t matter these protests show that we [think they] do,” Dorland said.

The Tax March protest in Los Angeles was peaceful as there was no confrontation between attendees and no reported arrests were made. Protests in Berkeley, however, resulted in the injuries of 11 people and the arrest of 20, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Trump tweeted during the protests, “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!” but has not provided any information on releasing his taxes.

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