Hundreds at Houston rally demand Trump release tax return

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Hundreds of sign-wielding protesters congregated outside City Hall Saturday as part of a nationwide appeal to President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

The green-shirt clad anti-Trump protestors planned Tax March Houston in response to Trump’s post-election statement that Americans “don’t care” about seeing his tax returns. “The only ones that care about my tax returns are the reporters,” Trump said, prompting everal marches on tax day 2017.

Trump is the first president since Richard Nixon to refuse to release his tax returns in office.

“The anti-Trump resistance is strong. We must keep this resistance going,” Brian Harrison, of Socialist Alternative, told the crowd that congregated on Smith Street. “If you want to fight back against Trump and fight for socialist policies, please join us.”

Signs that read “Chicken Don – Where’s your money?,” “Hide Eggs, Not Taxes” waved about the growing crowd as young families, elderly couples and millennials fell in line for the downtown march.

Pet owners brought dogs with anti-fascist signs hung from their collars. Participants poured out onto the streets as organizers chanted into megaphones.

Gabriella Nissen and Paige Moore held signs high in the crowd as they waited for the march to keep moving.

“This isn’t fair. We’re all taking part in our duty to pay taxes and he hasn’t proven that he’s taking part in his,” Moore said. “Just look at the disparity in the wealth that he’s generated for himself and refuses to share with the country versus the money that we’re working for and contributing to society with.”

Both participated in the Jan. 21 Women’s March in Washington in protest of Trump’s election.

“I’ve been upset from the beginning,” Nissen said. “It seems like everything he’s doing is hurting the citizens of the United States.”

An inflatable chicken resembling Trump floated alongside the march, which took place on the sidewalks of McKinney, Travis and Capitol before returning to the plaza at City Hall.

Event organizer and co-director Elle Church said she had never planned a march before. After having a hip replacement, the responsibilities of spearheading Tax March Houston grew to be “exceptionally exhausting.”

Even while enduring pain throughout the activities, she said she was amazed by the turnout.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Church said. “I don’t know how powerful our impact is going to be, but I’m more than pleased with how it turned out … Even if 200 people showed up, I would’ve been thrilled.”

Protestors waved signs at policemen on horseback as children as young as 5 chanted in the streets.

Passersby walked alongside the march to take photos and ask activists Trump-related questions, to which they chanted “What do we want? Tax returns. When do we want them? Now.”

“He’s not divulging his connections,” participant Greg Broyles said. “There’s a strong suspicion that he’s interconnected to Vladimir Putin – and Putin has blown up Chechens, he’s a murderer. Trump is connected.”

ACLU of Texas Legal Observer volunteers directed participants toward Sen. Ted Cruz‘s office, where the march briefly stopped. Marchers also carried signs with portraits of the Republican senator that read “Hateful Ted.”

“Cruz is not representing the citizens of Texas. He needs to go,” said first-time marcher Theresa San Miguel. “I was disappointed when he went to the Republican convention and did not endorse Trump, but then he switched his endorsement and said he did.”

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, arrived at the end of the march to voice her support of Tax March Houston. Protesters formed a crowd around the City Hall steps as she removed her signature scarf due to the heat of the morning, to a raucous applause.

“We will not be run and ruled by kings,” she said.

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