Fifteen people chanting “kill the bill!” were arrested in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday protesting the Trump administration’s proposed tax overhaul.
“This bill is nothing more than a scam on the American people,” said Public Advocate Letitia James, who was among about 200 people who joined the rally. “It’s the greatest theft in a very long time. All of us will suffer.”
The protesters are angry the bill would lower corporate tax rates to 21% from 35% and repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, said those against the tax plan are “fighting a war.”
“This isn’t a tax plan,” she said to cheers. “This is a war. A war on working people, sick people, young people, people of color, New York City, New York State, the environment and everyone except the people who make money right behind us.”
Shortly after her speech, about 30 protesters lay down in front of the Stock Exchange, holding signs cut out like tombstones reading “RIP Died to Help the Rich Get Richer” and “RIP Lost Medicaid No $ For Care.”
Then, 15 protesters, including Bowen, sat down in an attempt to block the entrance to the exchange. Minutes later they were arrested and moved by cops to a waiting police van down the block.
“This is a major attack on the working people,” said Joel Shufro, 74, as he was led away by police in plastic cuffs. “This will result in the deaths of tens of thousands, if not millions.”
The $ 1.5 trillion tax cut appeared to be sailing toward the President’s desk.
The House of Representatives approved the measure Tuesday afternoon. The Senate was expected to vote on it later Tuesday.
Trump has vowed to sign it into law before Christmas.
But protesters in New York, and Washington, made a last-ditch effort to block the broad overhaul.
Critics point out the bill has moved forward with little public debate.
Demonstrators protest the GOP tax plan in Manhattan
The legislation is unpopular with the American people, according to a new poll from CNN and SSRS. All told, 55% oppose the plan and 33% support the changes, according to that poll, which surveyed 1,001 adults from Thursday to Sunday.
Speaker Paul Ryan brushed off the poll.
“Results are going to make this popular,” he told reporters during his weekly press conference.
Arlene Stein, who was arrested during the New York protest on Tuesday, was not convinced.
“This tax bill represents a massive tax transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to wealthy people,” she said as police led her away in plastic cuffs.
“It is a dangerous bill and it will damage this country.”