This story was reported by Peter Abramowicz and Kerri Byam and written by Arianna Romig.
Next door to luxury clothing store Gucci and across the street from Prada, demonstrators gathered on Tuesday in front of Trump Tower to protest tax breaks for large corporations and the 1 percent.
Singing their theme song “Take Me Out of the Tax Game,” the Tax Dodgers, outfitted in baseball uniforms, hit baseballs through “loopholes” while their mascot Mitt, a large inflatable baseball mitt that is meant to represent Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, stood faithfully by.
The organizers marched to Trump Tower after meeting on the steps of the James A. air jordan 6 femmes Farley Building, the main post office building in Manhattan, where activists spoke on their opposition to corporate tax breaks and their struggles to stay afloat during the recession.
Juan Pagan, the father of a child in public high school and the former director of a children’s after-school program, criticized $300 million in cuts from city schools and said, ““They are attacking our children. In a true democracy, people thrive. All of the people thrive, not just a certain class of people.”
Another speaker, Carlos Rivera, a New York resident who is facing foreclosure, said, “We are here to demand free justice. [The banks] created this crisis and they should be held accountable.”
The demonstrations followed Monday’s arrests of numerous Occupy Wall Street protesters who had camped across the street of the New York Stock Exchange.
The tax demonstration was organized by United NY and other groups to protest loopholes that let banks and corporations pay a lower income tax rate than the average American.
Donald Trump, the real estate tycoon, was hosting Ann and Mitt Romney in Trump Tower for Ann Romney’s birthday. The Romneys, according to tax returns, paid just 13.9 percent in income taxes in 2010.
“Romney is a candidate of the 1 percent, and if elected he’ll continue to push his rich influence onto our current politics,” said Ben Masters of United NY. “He made about $50,000 every day last year and paid less taxes than a working man would.”
The Tax Dodgers’ “owner” spoke to the crowd of fans and said, “You can’t buy tax breaks like that! Of course, we can, but that’s because we don’t pay taxes. We pay lobbyists.”
He closed his speech by yelling, “We’re the Tax Dodgers. We’re Number One! And by that we mean, we’re the one percent.”
The Tax Dodgers then marched to the offices of what the team called its “sponsors,” including banks and corporations like Wells Fargo, Verizon, and Bank of America, the march ended at the headquarters of General Electric in Rockefeller Plaza.
According to Occupy Wall Street’s Twitter, the GE security and city police officers escorted the Tax Dodgers off building property as they were singing in front of the building and into a protest pen at the Internal Revenue Service building on 44th Street and 6th Avenue.
Video by Kerri Byam.