In January, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway claimed that Donald Trump’s election proved that Americans “didn’t care” whether or not he released his tax returns. This Saturday, Americans will prover her wrong. On April 15th, Tax Day, protesters will take to the streets to demand President Trump release his tax returns. Marches are planned for more than 190 cities across the country, so here’s how you can find a Tax Day Protest near you.
The idea for the protest came from Jennifer Taub, a law professor who wrote a book on the 2008 financial crisis. Frustrated by Conway’s comments, Taub tweeted “Let’s plan a national #DivestDonald and #showusyourtaxes protest for Saturday, April 15th.” Taub didn’t expect anything to come of it but the idea quickly gained traction on social media, and shortly thereafter she and comedian Frank Lesser, who had tweeted a similar idea, formed an executive committee and launched the Tax March website.
While previous protests have addressed broad issues such as women’s rights and climate change, Tax Day protests have a single, specific goal: make President Trump release his tax returns. Why does this matter? Trump’s tax returns would allow the public to evaluate his finances, conflicts of interests, and honesty. Does he make as much as he claims? Does he really give to charity? Has he evaded taxes? Would his policy proposals benefit his businesses? His failure to disclose his tax returns suggests he has something to hide, and until the public knows what that is, we have no idea how it could be affecting his decision-making.
As the New York Times Editorial Board wrote in an op-ed on January 24th:
“Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his returns was deeply suspicious during the campaign, and it’s indefensible now that he’s in power. The only logical conclusion is that the candidate who pledged to clean up Washington is hiding damaging information about his past.”
If you would like to make your voice heard this Tax Day, here are some places you can find a protest near you. And remember, whether this is your first protest or your 100th, stay safe and know your rights.