Students demand Trump release his tax returns during Tax Day protest

The event took place at the state Capitol over the weekend

Many ASU students joined hundreds at the Arizona Capitol April 15 to protest President Donald Trump having not yet released his tax returns.

The protest, which was one of several coordinated efforts across the U.S., lasted from approximately 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. as a fluctuation of several hundred fathered to demand the president release his tax returns. They chose to protest the weekend before national Tax Day, which is Tuesday, April 18.

The president said on the campaign trail, and many times after, that he would release them when he was no longer under audit. The Internal Revenue Service said the audit did not prevent him from doing so. Since taking office, the president has said on that only journalists care about his tax returns.

Kimberly Terasaki, a creative writing sophomore who attended the protest, said she helped register people to vote during the protest.

“I believe it’s just downright insane that Trump outright refuses to release his tax information, considering every president since Nixon has done so,” Terasaki said, citing a popular talking point of those critical of the current administration’s position.

Gerald Ford did not release his tax returns, instead making public a decade of summary data about his federal taxes. 

“It was very friendly, we were all fairly welcoming of each other,” Terasaki said of the environment. “I even recognized some of my friends and coworkers who had gone to previous protests and (I) worked on previous projects with.”

Since the event, the president has claimed on Twitter the protesters were paid.

Maya Duncan-Pope, a psychology freshman, attended the protests to be heard as a dissenting voice against the administration as a whole.

“I attended because I need to be active,” Duncan-Pope said. “It was smaller than the woman’s protest, but it was much better organized, with speakers you could actually hear.”

She said it is “really, really shady” that the administration has not yet released the president’s returns.

“The excuses have been ranging from BS to pure lies,” Duncan-Pope said. “Why would they try so very hard to hide something if they say there’s nothing to hide?”

Duncan-Pope admitted that the protest overall was against the Trump administration, with this events focus his tax returns.

Griffin Guzaitis, an economics freshman who attended the protest, said he has participated in protests before and attended this one to further express his disdain for the administration.

“I mainly turned out because I deeply and strongly disapprove of President Trump and the many conflicts of interest that he has seemingly run roughshod over during his first couple months in office,” he said. “I feel strongly that he should release his tax returns to the American people.”

Guzaitis said there was a “synergy” that drove the event to be both of the decision to withhold his tax returns and of the administration.

“There’s a combination of factors that led up to this protest,” Guzaitis said. “It gave us a sense of community to see that I was not alone in wanting to see potential conflicts of interest within his tax returns. It also gave me hope that there would be more public pressure on Donald Trump to release his tax returns.” 


Reach the reporter at maatenci@asu.edu or follow @mitchellatencio on Twitter.

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