Ten protesters were arrested Wednesday outside GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s Des Moines, Iowa campaign offices and a nearby Wells Fargo bank branch, the Des Moines Register reported.
The protesters, all of whom were affiliated with the Occupy Des Moines movement, demanded Romney and Wells Fargo release their tax returns and that Romney return campaign contributions from the bank and bank employees, the newspaper said.
The doors to Romney’s office were locked by the time about 50 or so protesters arrived Wednesday afternoon, according to the New York Times. Protesters banged on the glass windows and demanded they be let inside. They shouted anti-Romney chants and sang songs about corporate greed.
The protesters said they were targeting Romney and Wells Fargo because of their corporate ties, the Register reported.
Police arrested seven protesters at the campaign offices. After police showed up, the remaining demonstrators marched toward the nearby bank branch where three more were subsequently arrested on trespassing charges.
“Our questions have gone unanswered,” one protester shouted as police led her away from Romney’s office. “This is not democracy. This is hypocrisy.”
“We don’t think either one of them pays their fair share of taxes,” another demonstrator said.
Romney said Wednesday he has no plans to release his income tax returns. Wells Fargo said in a statement to the Des Moines Register neither its company nor its political action committee contribute to presidential campaigns. Bank employees are not reimbursed for the personal political campaign contributions, a spokesperson said.
The demonstrations mark the first activities of the so-called “People’s Caucus.” Hundreds of Occupy protesters are expected to gather in Iowa leading up to the state’s Jan. 3 contest.
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