Nearly a month into his presidency, Trump has yet to make public his returns, unlike other recent presidents, despite mounting pressure and his own promise to do so. Two days after his inauguration, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway explained that Trump had decided not to release the documents because “people didn’t care.”
The rallies, being organized in dozens of communities across the country and collectively dubbed “The Tax March,” aim to convince Trump that Americans “do care” and “that we’re not going away,” according to a website set up for the event.
“It’s fitting that at least one Trump-related march started out as a series of angry tweets,” Frank Lesser, a comedy writer who was among the first to post about the protest idea, said in an emailed statement.
Ben Wikler, the Washington director of MoveOn.org, one of several organizations behind the rallies, said in a statement that if Trump won’t volunteer to turn over his taxes, Congress should force him.
“The Tax March will demonstrate the intensity of the public’s demands for answers about just what it is that Donald Trump is so determined to hide, while highlighting the profound inequality encoded in our rigged tax system — which Trump has exploited for years, and which would only be made worse by his policies,” Wikler said.
The main rally will take place in Washington, where demonstrators will march from the U.S. Capitol, past Trump International Hotel, to the White House. More than 50 other rallies are planned in cities that include New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Little Rock, Arkansas, according to the website. Facebook has logged roughly 8,000 RSVPs for Washington, 9,000 for Chicago, 20,000 for Los Angeles and 8,000 for San Francisco.
Contrary to the Trump administration’s claims, Americans have been quite clear about where they stand on the issue. An ABC poll in January found that 74 percent wanted Trump to release his returns. And, as of Wednesday, more than 875,000 people had signed a petition on the White House website demanding that the president hand them over.
Trump’s refusal to release his returns breaks with 40 years of precedent.
“The American people deserve to know if their president is doing his fair share for our collective American community,” Brian Kettenring, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, said in a statement.
April 15 is typically the deadline for filing tax returns. This year, April 15 falls on a Saturday, and the District of Columbia celebrates Emancipation Day on the following Monday, April 17, so the tax deadline was pushed to April 18.