The joke is that Donald Trump is a chicken for not releasing his tax returns.
"Chicken Don" was the unofficial mascot for the national Tax March. The joke is that Donald Trump is a chicken for not releasing his tax returns. The joke is not that he has red balls for a chin. RS

A few thousand people rallied outside of the Henry M. Jackson federal building on an arguably sunny Saturday morning for Tax March Seattle, a movement calling for Donald Trump to release his tax returns and for the U.S. to adopt fairer tax policies.

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The march to the Seattle Center didn't compare at all in number to the Seattle Womxn's March back in January, but that's not such a big surprise. For one, the desire to see a president's tax returns doesn't exactly stir up the same revolutionary fervor that a civil rights protest might. For two, the Tax March had no clearly defined hat theme.

Of the several speakers who kicked off the march at the federal building, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal's anti-Trump speech received the loudest cheers.

State representative and vice chair of the mf-ing finance committee Noel Frame spoke about the importance of paying attention to the state legislature, but was pleasantly surprised when the majority of the crowd seemed to know what she meant when she said "McCleary."

State senator Bob Hasegawa mentioned several current pieces of legislation that seemed to pique the interest of those around me, including SB 5464, which would establish a Washington state bank owned by the public.

Representatives form the Block the Bunker coalition largely drew boos and consternation from the crowd when a masked speaker chastised protesters for wearing "transphobic" and potentially "triggering" pussyhats. For reasons that made absolutely no sense to me, they spoke AFTER Congresswoman Jayapal, just as the crowd was getting antsy to march.

Here's my all my Twitter dot com coverage of the march, which includes lots of tax-obsessed dogs, inflatable chickens, remarks from local politicians and activists, and at least one dude livetrolling the whole thing with a Pepe sign.

Though the crowd size was relatively modest, I couldn't emotionally and intellectually understand why more than 12 people would hit the streets to talk about taxes and government accountability, so I asked a bunch of people what got them out of the house.

Good q
Good q RS

Wesley Davison, 72
Retired

What brought you out to the Tax March?
I think the public needs to see Trump's tax returns in order to know what his interests are, and to make sure that he's acting in the interest of the public rather than acting in his own or his family's interest.

Did any of the speeches about taxes stand out to you this morning?
I liked some of the information about Washington State's regressive tax system and some of the attempts being made to rectify that were good. I liked the idea of setting up a state bank rather than having the state put its money in Bank of America or Wells Fargo or any of the other large banks so the profits would go to the people of Washington rather than to Wall Street.

What's the emotional thing that drove you out the door, though?
Tax equity is one issue, and income inequality, of which tax equity is a part. But also the idea of his violating a longstanding tradition of presidents being open with their financial information. That's the big issue. And I'll be here next week for the March for Science as well.

These are good signs.
These are good signs. RS

Julie Trent and her daughter, Annabelle
Language arts and social studies teacher; student

What brought you out to the Tax March?

Julie: The usual. Sick of way things are going. We participated in the Women's March, and it felt good to be out here and have our voices heard. And, for me personally, to show my daughter that you can have a voice.

Annabelle: I like seeing how many people can come together and agree on so many of these issues.

What's the emotional thing that drove you out the door, though?

Julie: For me, it's because he said nobody wants to see his taxes. Well, I do. He's got money coming from all kinds of places, and it needs to be know. I think he's trying to hide something.

Did any of the speeches about taxes stand out to you this morning?
Julie: We were confused about some of the things the [Block the Bunker coalition] said about the pink hats. Not sure what their point is, but we'd like to understand.

One of the speakers said the pussyhats represent transphobia and could be triggering for victims of sexual assault.

Julie: Right, and they said those wearing the pussyhats are the ones who put Trump in office. I don't understand how they got to that.

Annabelle: Kinda sounded like they were accusing. I was wearing that hat, and it had a different meaning for me.


A tornado of frustration brought this crew out from Brier, WA for the Tax March.
A tornado of frustration brought this crew out from Brier, WA for the Tax March. RS

(L-R) Thomas Davis, Susan Davis, and Carolyn St. John

What brought you out to the Tax March?

Thomas: We just got so upset about Donald Trump not showing his taxes. The nation deserves to see how he's affected by other sources. I think it's time for congress

Susan: That's not even the worst of it for me. What scares the crap out of me is wondering who he's dealing with. When he has the leader of China down there at Mar-a-Lago at our expense, what are they talking about behind closed doors? Or Russia? This is all a ruse right now.

Thomas: And why is he the only president who hasn't shown his returns?

What's the emotional thing that drove you out the door, though?

Susan: He's not transparent! People want transparency and integrity in a president. And this fool stands up there and makes us all look bad.

Thomas: And there's so many programs now that are going to be cut, partially because rich people aren't paying their fair share of taxes.

Susan: One trip to Mar-a-Lago is Meals on Wheels for a year. Give me a break.

Carolyn: And why does Trump feel he's above the law?

Susan: And what is hiding? He's hiding something much bigger than his tax rate, much bigger than the fact that he's not contributing like he says he is. No no. It's huge. I think the guy could be in jail if we truly find out everything. What happened the emoluments clause? He's getting rich every day and nobody's doing anything.

Yes, those are actually his tax returns.
Yes, those are actually his tax returns. RS

Ben Roberts, 33
"Underemployed"

What brought you out to the Tax March?

I'm interested in the state tax disparity we have here. I was doing the math on my own taxes and realized that while there are people at low incomes who are paying like 20 percent or something ridiculous in state taxes, my wife and my effective tax rate is like 3.5 or 4 percent. It's crazy.

So those are your actual tax returns?

Yeah, I'm basically saying there's nothing wrong with disclosing basic information about how much you make. I think there's a lot of problems more generally about how Americans don't like to talk about their finances and income, and it leads to so much financial illiteracy.

Did any of the speeches about taxes stand out to you this morning?

My political views are bit more moderate than some of those who spoke. I like to say I feel like a Seattle Republican, sometimes. But—the purpose of this is not to march down the street. A lot of it is to bring people out, let them understand what causes are out there. I saw All In for Washington, Washington's Paramount Duty, and Transit Rider's Union. All these groups need help from people who are here. And if people like the messages for the campaigns they're working on, people should be showing up for them.

Tax March Seattle was one of two protests in downtown Seattle today. Black Lives Matter 2.0 march kicked off in Westlake at 2:00 p.m. A much larger crowd—18,000—were expected to show up for that rally.