President Donald Trump may not enter Harrisburg when he speaks in Dauphin County later today, but that didn’t stop protesters from coming into the city for an anti-Trump demonstration.
More than 100 people gathered this morning on the steps of the state Capitol Complex to protest Trump’s tax proposal. He is expected to promote that plan in front of area Republicans in a speech at Harrisburg International Airport this afternoon.
Activists who spoke at the event claimed that the tax plan would raise the tax burden on poor and low-income Americans while giving tax breaks to the rich. They also called on lawmakers to protect Medicare and Medicaid.
A number of grassroots advocacy groups were present at the rally, including organizers from the Tax March, Not One Penny, Keystone Progress and local chapters of the national Indivisible movement.
Some demonstrators traveled from neighboring counties to participate in the event. Nikki Byers came to Harrisburg from Etters, where she is a member of the Indivisible York chapter.
“Millionaires like Donald Trump don’t need a tax break,” Byers said, calling his tax plan a “scam.”
A group from Perry County also travelled to the Capitol for the demonstration. Evelyn d’Elia, from Newport, was specifically worried about the future of Medicare and Medicaid under Trump.
“The first thing [Republicans] want to cut is Medicare, and I can’t live without it,” said d’Elia, who is a retired state worker. “These social welfare programs were made so that the middle class and poor can survive.”
Daniel Doubet, executive director at Keystone Progress, could not confirm whether additional demonstrations would take place at the airport when Trump lands there this afternoon.
Trump is expected to address local Republican leaders at a closed-door meeting this afternoon. The event will take place in the National Air Force hangar at the airport, according to a statement released today by Rep. Lou Barletta.