Upwards of 1,500 Massachusetts taxpayers took to the streets of Boston’s Financial District Tuesday, Tax Day, to demand major corporations and the wealthiest 1% pay their fair share to fund our communities. The massive demonstration came as part of a growing, nationwide wave of discontent against big corporations, the rich, and politicians who have created an economic emergency for the 99% through rampant tax dodging.
As deadlines loomed for millions of working people, retirees and even unemployed residents across Massachusetts, dozens of neighborhood-based actions called out major corporate tax dodgers whose “Tax Day” never seems to come. Fed-up residents from Dorchester to the North Shore later converged on the Financial District, calling out the Hub’s most egregious corporate tax dodgers – General Electric, State Street, Bank of America, Fidelity, Verizon and Wells Fargo.
Demonstrators presented the infamous gang of tax dodgers with overdue bills for billions in unpaid tax subsidies, handing the invoices to masked “corporate pigs” bearing the logos of offending corporations. Advocates called for a new, fairer tax system where our hard-earned tax dollars are no longer spent on unnecessary wars and corporate welfare, but instead invested in the vital job creation, healthcare, transit and education programs that keep our communities healthy and sustainable.
More than 30 community, labor and peace groups joined together for the #99TaxDay of action – including MASSUNITING, Right to the City, City Life/Vida Urbana, Massachusetts AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org and OccupyBoston. The diverse coalition was prompted to action by a new report from the non-partisan Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy and Citizens for Tax Justice, which reveals that many Bay State corporations are amongst the worst tax dodgers in America. The tax dodging policies of these companies have drained millions from the Massachusetts economy – forcing mass layoffs, slashing vital services, and closing schools and community centers.
With numbers in the thousands and energy running high, the #99TaxDay march was an impressive Boston kick-off for the 99% Spring – a nationwide push to hold corporations and the 1% accountable for the harm they’ve done to our communities. Massachusetts residents sent a clear message Tuesday, and showed they are more than ready to amplify their voices in the coming weeks. Organizers have promised a steady ramp-up of actions to do just that, targeting tax dodging corporations and the politicians who support them. Stay tuned for opportunities to get involved!