More than 100 activists rallied outside of U.S. Congressman Will Hurd’s office on the North Side on Tuesday afternoon, protesting President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his income taxes returns.
With signs and posters held high, the crowd lined the curb outside of Hurd’s office building, cheering motorists who honked their car horns in solidarity with their cause. One or two drivers lowered their car windows and yelled out taunts opposing the march.
This past weekend, more than 150 marches took place across the nation as part of a wave of similar protests set up at taxmarch.org.
Hurd is not in San Antonio this week. Protesters said that the doors to the congressman’s office were locked, preventing march representatives from talking to an aide. Speakers Rosey Abuabara and Alejandro Guzman energized the crowd, voicing their displeasure that Hurd or a member of his staff was not present to hear their complaints.
“He doesn’t want to meet us,” Guzman yelled to the crowd through a megaphone. “He works for us! We deserve to be heard by our elected official!”
Hurd’s campaign manager, Justin Hollis suggested that the crowd’s claims might not be on target.
“If the DCCC and the Texas Democratic Party would have done their homework,’ Hollis wrote in an email, “they would know that Congressman Hurd called on President Trump to release his taxes back in January.”
The event was sponsored by several groups, including Mi Familia Vota, Planned Parenthood, Service Employees International Union and the Texas Organizing Project.
Janet Oglethorpe, with TX23 Indivisible, was among the contingent that included retirees, college students, Moms Demand Action members and several youngsters and toddlers. Oglethorpe said Hurd needs to stop voting with Trump and represent all members of his 23rd Congressional District.
“We need that transparency,” she said, “and I want him to pass that along to Donald Trump.”
Rabbi Samuel M. Stahl said his wife alerted him to the rally.
“I’m very concerned that our current president has not followed the practice of his predecessors and released his tax returns,” the rabbi said. “I’m concerned about what he’s hiding and why he’s been so resistant to following the wishes of the people.”
Stahl worries that people might tire of protests, but he is hopeful that hasn’t happened yet.
“We don’t want justice fatigue to set in,” he said, above shouts of “No more secrets, no more lies” from the crowd.
The chants and sign waving subsided briefly as organizers inflated a large mascot, Chicken Don, that’s been featured at rallies around the nation. The large, balloon caricature of Trump bobbed above protesters who posed for photos and let laughter replace their ire for a few moments.
Linda Lowman walked through the assembly bearing a triangle-shaped shadow box, with a folded American flag displayed beneath glass in memory of her father, World War II veteran Melville M. Hughes Jr. She said her father taught her that Americans can all do their part for their country by paying their taxes.
“Here’s Mr. Trump, who has been blessed with more money than most of the people in the United States make, and yet he’s looking for loopholes so he doesn’t have to pay,” she said. “If he was here now, my father would be appalled.”
This story originally appeared 4/18/2017 in the San Antonio Express-News.