To celebrate Tax Day, the folks at Right to the City and MoveOn.org decided it was high time to combine the best traditions of 1985-era Chicago Bears dancing and progressive lefty political agitation. The result? Behold the "Tax the Rich Shuffle."
William "The Fridge" Perry was sadly not involved, but a hundred or so protesters did mass around the Carnival Corporation's headquarters in Doral this afternoon to bust out the protest dance. The reason? They say Carnival got away with paying a measly 1.1 percent federal tax on its highly profitable business.
Organizers, including the Miami Workers Center and the SEIU, said the protest was meant to highlight the discrepancy between the tax burden on individuals and giant corporations.
"We've been most affected by this recession, a recession that we didn't cause," said Hashim Yeomans-Benford, a community organizer with Right to the City and the Workers Center. "They make money off our backs then they get bailed out."
Between all the dancing, MoveOn members presented a giant "tax bill" to Carnival's security workers to be delivered to management, for $240 million they say is owed to the feds.
(Riptide asked Carnival if they wanted to comment on the hubbub outside their front gates. A spokeswoman hasn't gotten back to us yet -- we'll update if she does.)
Update: Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher sent along this comment on the protests:
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Carnival Corporation & plc operates in international markets with 10 global cruise brands and is not a U.S. company. As such, much of our income is earned outside of the U.S. and therefore are not subject to U.S. income tax. However, it should be noted that we pay hundreds of millions in fees and taxes at ports all over the world including U.S. ports where our ships call.
Here's the dance!