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Demonstrators call for president's tax returns

By Tammy Webber Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Thousands of chanting, sign-carrying protesters took to the streets in cities across the nation Saturday, demanding that President Donald Trump release his tax returns, so Americans can scrutinize his business ties and potential conflicts of interest.

Violent clashes were the exception during the largely peaceful demonstrations, but in Berkeley, California, police arrested 13 people and confiscated knives and makeshift weapons after fistfights broke out between factions that support and oppose Trump.

Trump was the first major-party nominee in more than 40 years not to release his tax returns, saying it was because he was under audit. He later said that voters don't care.

But 71-year-old Ilene Singh said he's wrong. She rode a bus from New Jersey to New York City with her friend Geraldine Markowitz, 83, to take part in protests. "We're here to say we care," said Singh.

Pushing her walker, Karin Arlin, 85, a Holocaust survivor who came to the U.S. from Germany when she was 9, said she's also worried about the direction of the country.

"You don't know which way the country goes," said Arlin next to her 89-year-old husband who fled Czechoslovakia during World War II.

Actress and producer Justine Bateman, who addressed several thousand people at a rally in downtown Los Angeles, said Americans need "financial statement proof" that Trump is not beholden to any business interests or country other than the U.S.

In Washington, D.C., one of Trump's sharpest critics in the House spoke to protesters at the U.S. Capitol just before they set off on a march to the National Mall. Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, of California, said there's nothing to prevent Trump from releasing his income taxes and that "the simple truth is he's got a lot to hide."

"If he thinks he can get away with playing king, he's got another thought coming," Waters said.

The 13 arrests in Berkeley came Saturday after about 200 people gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park for separate rallies and pushing and fistfights began.

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