By Randy Gener
NEW YORK, April 15 | It was the tweet heard ’round the anti-Trump world.
Oh, no. The Maggot-in-Chief did not send out the tweet that made a national impact yesterday April 15. The person who made a greater difference was Frank Lesser, former “Colbert Report” writer and author of Sad Monsters.
The anti-Trump tax marches were launched by a single tweet a day after the massive Jan. 21 women’s march in Washington and other cities. On Jan. 22, comedy writer Frank Lesser tapped out on Twitter, “Trump claims no one cares about his taxes. The next mass protest should be on Tax Day to prove him wrong.” It has been retweeted more than 21,000 times.
Flanked by a golden-coiffed giant inflatable chicken, comedian Sarah Silverman excoriated Trump at a Bryant Park rally for refusing to cough up his forms.
“Show us your f—ing taxes, you emotional child” she said. “There is no possible explanation other than fishy s–t is going on.”
Demonstrators marched up Sixth Avenue chanting, “No more secrets no more lies, show your taxes, show your ties,” and “What do you owe, we must know.”
Trump claims no one cares about his taxes. The next mass protest should be on Tax Day to prove him wrong.
— Frank Lesser (@sadmonsters) January 22, 2017
Thousands of people turned out for a march through midtown Manhattan on Saturday to demand that U.S. President Donald Trump release his tax returns and to dispute his claim that the public does not care about the issue.
The Trump Taxes March were part of a larger protest about income inequality and Trump’s tax cuts for the rich—or more accurately, Trump’s tax cuts for his children. (The so-called death tax, which only affects the portion of an inheritance that exceeds $5.45 million, should be renamed “the Ivanka tax.”)
Follow in the footsteps of the Occupy movement and the elderly shuffles of Bernie Sanders, money was raised via souvenir merchandises, which were subsequently advertised and sold via Twitter.
Help the Tax March give Trump the bird… by buying one of these fundraising "Chicken Don" t-shirts: https://t.co/oLTiI4lXyL
— Frank Lesser (@sadmonsters) March 17, 2017
Protesters in New York City gathered at Bryant Park in Midtown and marched to Trump Tower. A giant inflatable white chicken with a streak of orange hair bobbed up and down as protesters made their way up 6th Avenue.
The official hat for the #TrumpTaxesMarch on April 15th…#TaxDayForTrump pic.twitter.com/B5LZDeCtUB
— Frank Lesser (@sadmonsters) January 23, 2017
Organizers of New York’s “Tax March” — one of more than 150 across the country and beyond — called attention to Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax history, as his White House predecessors have done for more than 40 years.
For Lesser, everything culminated with another tweet sent out on the very day of the New York protests.
.@WMWDisability founder & WM national organizer @SeeMiaRoll with @sadmonsters – whose tweet helped inspire the #TaxMarch – at @taxmarchnyc! pic.twitter.com/WGqKClo0sX
— Women's March (@womensmarch) April 15, 2017
In addition to major U.S. cities, including Washington and Los Angeles, marches are planned in Europe, Japan and New Zealand. Activists in West Palm Beach, Florida, rallied near Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort, where he spent the Easter weekend.
The Washington, D.C., march began with a rally at the U.S. Capitol, where Sen. Ron Wyden called on Trump to ‘knock off the secrecy.” The Oregon Democrat says the people have “a basic right to know whether the president pays his fair share.”
The Manhattan march began with a rally at Bryant Park, drawing a good-natured crowd estimated by a Reuters reporter to be about 5,000 people, although no official estimates were immediately available. The procession up Sixth Avenue was due to disperse at Central Park
Among the marchers was an oversized inflatable rooster, sporting an angry expression and a sweeping metallic orange hairdo meant to resemble Trump’s signature style.
Critics have raised questions about what Trump’s tax returns say about his net worth and various business ties.
As a candidate and as president, Trump has steadfastly refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service. In September, he told ABC News, “I don’t think anybody cares, except some members of the press.”
The IRS has said that Trump can release his tax returns even while under audit. His 2016 forms will also face an audit.
“Show us your taxes you desperate, self-obsessed, (expletive) grabbing walking human ego,” comedian Sarah Silverman said at the pre-march rally.
Organizers said they stuck with the traditional tax-deadline date of April 15 for the marches because as a Saturday it would draw more attendance, even though this year’s income tax filing deadline was pushed back to Tuesday April 18.
For four decades, presidents and major party nominees have released some of their tax returns, with the exception of Gerald Ford. Trump’s break with precedent has raised questions about possible conflicts of interest.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, has said Trump’s refusal to release his returns could hinder Republicans’ prospects for a rewrite of the tax code.
Photos by RG