A few recent online postings help answer that question. David Hartsough spells out the whys and hows in What if they gave a war and nobody paid? And Kathy Labriola gives some options in War Tax Resistance 101. On March 19, the 10th year of war in Iraq, Francesca Fiorentini added up “60 Billion Reasons the War on Iraq was a Rotten Idea.”
The War Resisters League’s analysis of the President’s fiscal year 2014 budget, “Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes” is now available. The Spanish version is available online only at “En Español”. If you are confused about the ways different organizations analyze the federal budget and military spending, see “Pies, Graphs, and Income Taxes.”
The Department of Justice/IRS has withdrawn the summons it issued to Cindy Sheehan and declared the action moot. She even has this in writing! Congratulations to Cindy for fighting the good fight — and winning for once. Listen to stories from war tax resisters on Cindy Sheehan’s Janary 15 program, “War Tax Resistance is Courage.”
See photos and reports from the February 2013 International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Bogotá, Colombia. The British group Conscience has a conference blog posted online also.
NWTRCC’s 30th Anniversary gathering found us in Colorado Springs — where the military is practically a way of life, but so are protests for our hosts. Click here for photos and reports.
One day you stopped paying for war, and that was an important event in your life. Let your Facebook friends know about it — and maybe inspire them to make such an event part of their lives — by following the instructions on this page to add that event to your Facbook timeline.
On Saturday, July 28, three antinuclear activists took an action that put them in headlines across the country for shutting down a nuclear plant pending an investigation. Calling themselves the Transform Now Plowshares, Sr. Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed, and Michael Walli made their way onto the property of the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation in Tennessee and splashed blood and hung “Swords into Plowshares” banners on the building housing the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility. You can learn more about their action at the links below. Hundreds or thousands of individuals came to war tax resistance specifically because of the nuclear weapons issue. In the early 1980s the antinuclear movement was growing and visible, to the point that Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle was moved to say, “I think the teaching of Jesus tells us to render to a nuclear-arms Caesar what that Caesar deserves, tax resistance” and followed it up with his own resistance.
Their trial is schedule for Tuesday, May 7 in Knoxville, Tennessee, but watch their website for updates and changes: Transform Now Plowshares.
More on this and other protest and how to support activists: The Nuclear Resister: Nonviolent Resistance for a Peaceful and Nuclear Free Future
Peace activist and war tax resister Cindy Sheehan appeared in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, California, on April 19, 2012, in response to an IRS summons to answer questions about her assets. Sheehan has refused to pay federal income taxes since her son was killed in Iraq in 2004, and she began to take on the U.S. empire over its warmongering.
The court ordered her to meet with the IRS on May 9 where she invoked the 5th Amendment. As of July 24, 2012, there has been no further activity in the court case, but the IRS is still pursuing collection from Cindy though she has vowed “No matter if the government says I owe a penny or $100,000, I’m not paying one penny to them.”
She has written eloquently about this on her blog. Follow the links for each piece:
If you are interested in helping support Cindy Sheehan, send an email to NWTRCC and we will connect you to others. We will also forward letters of support to Cindy.
Marilyn Langlois ran for City Council in Richmond, California, and had to respond to attacks about her war tax resistance. She posted a response on her website.
Excellent to see a new article about war tax resistance posted on the Mint Press News site — Going Against The Law To Protest Criminal Acts: War Tax Resisters And The Rebellious Spirit.
Our colleagues and friends Linda Grahem Peachy (page 2) and Susan Miller (page 4) were both chosen for honor and profiles in the March/April 2012 issue (large PDF) of timbrel, the magaine of Mennonite Women USA.
“We must protect conscience from war,” writes Duane Shank on the Sojourners blog. The article includes links to the H.R. 1191, introduced into Congress by Rep. John Lewis (Ga.).
A video of San Francisco attorney J. Tony Serra’s talk at the May 2011 war tax resistance gathering in Oakland.
“The other tea partiers: antiwar tax resisters,” by Steven Short for the Crosscurrents news magazine show on KALW.
Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts on July 12, 1817. Untold numbers have been moved to resistance by his famous essay, “Civil Disobedience,” which was inspired by the night he spent in jail in July 1846 after refusing to pay poll taxes in protest against the Mexican War and the extension of slavery. You can read the essay online (y en español). Lawrence Rosenwald, a longtime war tax resister and Professor of English and of Peace and Justice Studies, wrote about the influence of Thoreau for him personally, and has analyzed Thoreau’s essay more thoroughly in “The Theory, Practice & Influence of Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.” Wikipedia has a good biography of Thoreau with more links. War tax resister David Gross has collected some of Thoreau’s writings into two volumes, which can be ordered from his website (scroll down the books in the right column). Thoreau’s refusal to pay for war was one famous instance of civil disobedience, but his legacy continues. See NWTRCC’s teaching kit, Thoreau and His Heirs, for more details!
Dave Gross continues to come up with current and past news items that demonstrate the persistence of individuals to refuse to support war, damn the consequences. Click here for links to articles including profile of Nashua, N.H., resisters Francine Wall and Ruth McKay; Irish resistance refusing to pay the “police tax” in 1884; the current state of the Spanish tax resistance movements; tax resistance in Beit Sahour; and much more!
See NWTRCC’s history pages on this website for an overview of of history from ancient time to current.