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April 22, 2017 – March for Science
April 15, 2017 – TaxMarch
The Daily Courier
250 marchers call for president’s tax return
SHAUN HALL/Daily Courier
About 250 protesters calling on President Donald Trump to publicly release his tax returns march out of Riverside Park on Saturday on their way to cross the Caveman Bridge. They were greeted with honking horns, revved car engines and some middle fingers.
By Shaun Hall of the Daily Courier
About 250 people gathered at Riverside Park on Saturday and then marched to the Josephine County Courthouse, in support of an effort calling on President Donald Trump to publicly release his tax returns.
Along the march route, car horns honked in apparent support, but several vehicles revved their engines in apparent opposition. There were a few middle fingers displayed, too.
The rally was the latest demonstration of heightened political tension in the wake of Trump’s election. The day before, visitors packed the 750-seat Performing Arts Center at Grants Pass High School for U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’s first town hall since the election. Three weeks ago about 600 people crowded into the school’s cafeteria for a meeting with U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley.
On Saturday demonstrators wondered who Trump, the billionaire businessman who has turned politics-as-usual upside down, might be tied to financially.
One of the marchers, Terri Selfridge of Crescent City, Calif., got up at 7 a.m. to make the drive to Grants Pass. She wore a distinctive knit hat symbolic of those who are challenging Trump.
“I taught myself to knit to make this,” she said. “It got to a point where I can’t keep silent.”
Selfridge and others listened as event organizer David Smith, co-founder of Rogue Indivisible, spoke using a bullhorn. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns breaks a four-decade precedent followed by presidents of both parties.
“Mr. President, we’re waiting,” Smith said. “We expect our president to keep his promises.”
The march was one of scores across the country on “Tax Day,” April 15, the traditional deadline for filing taxes returns. Organizers said the rallies were held to demand transparency and fairness. Trump said he doesn’t believe voters really care.
Another marcher, Juliet Long, attended with her daughters and a friend.
“I’m concerned about where our country’s going,” said Long, a computer science instructor at Rogue Community College.
Long said she had her daughters along so they would become more engaged as citizens.
After the morning’s speeches, marchers left the park, crossed Caveman Bridge and headed up busy Sixth Street toward downtown. They held dozens of homemade signs. The sign at the head of the line read “Resist.”
About half the crowd had white or gray hair. One woman wore a shirt reading, “Grandmothers for Peace.”
Thirty minutes later, most of the marchers were gathering in front of the Josephine County Courthouse, where someone grabbed the bullhorn.
“What do we want?” the man called out.
“Trump’s taxes!” came back a chorus of replies.
“When do we want them?”
One bearded man began playing a guitar, and the crowd sang, “This Land is Your Land.”
Later, shuttles arrived to give marchers rides back to the park. As the crowd dispersed, Smith lingered. He said the march was about openness in government.
“It’s about honesty,” he said. “It’s about transparency.”
Another march, dubbed a “Science March,” is planned for the same time and place next Saturday, April 22, Earth Day.
Reach reporter Shaun Hall at 541-474-3722 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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