By Daniel Woodham
DW: Can you give us an update about your war tax resistance
action? Was it $150,000 that you resisted?
JBH: I think it was more than that, like $170,000. Now it's
over $200,000with the penalties and interest. My contact with
the IRS has just been about getting flooded with paperwork.
They have tons of power and tons of money, and they'll just
use these to try and overwhelm and squash those who are doing
this as a form of dissent. It's so ironic the way corporations
are getting away with billions of dollars that they owe in taxes
yet still getting government contracts on top of that.
Are you choosing to settle with the IRS or is your goal
to keep it away from them?
Currently I'm just involved in paperwork. I'm in this nonprofit
Circle of Life, and we put on these really incredible festivals
called "We the Planet." The IRS said, "Ooo, there must be money
there." Actually the festivals are programmed so they cost the
organization money. We don't use horrible corporate sponsors
to meet the costs. So the IRS said they wanted to know about
that and [how it relates financially] to me.
When I was consulting around to make sure the consequences
of my choice to do WTR didn't impact others around me or the
work that I do in the nonprofit, I called lawyers and created
clear lines between myself and the nonprofit. Because I have
one of the larger single instances of resistance, and because
I have quite a bit of public attention, one thing the IRS was
very clear about was that there was no way they would negotiate
with me. It would send the wrong signal to others who choose
to do WTR.
One thing we talk about in the WTR movement is the range
of emotions people experience in the different phases of their
active civil disobedience. How has it been emotionally for you?
For a little bit it was a roller coaster, and now it's really
solid. I started out cautious. I was not so much concerned for
my own comfort as others might be. I believe our addiction to
comfort has held a lot of people back from being liberated in
this country. I think that's why we see powerful movements in
other countries where people don't have as much access to privilege.
They don't have that addiction to creature comforts, so they
are willing to take more risks, which ends up being very liberating
Just in my own life I've faced next to no comfort enough times
so that I don't have that fear around comfort. My biggest concerns
were around projects I was involved in and my nonprofit work.
But for me I felt really solid and clear. I talked with a lot
of WTRs or people who were WTRs. I had people go online for
me to find out info because I don't use computers very often.
I was very thoughtful in the process. And then I had a lot of
strange circumstances in my life because of having done things
like written books and having contracts for speaking somewhere
and getting honorariums. All this created a lot of messiness,
and I got some advice and set up an infrastructure.
Then I saw some people freaking out because of how my decision
could impact their lives. I felt so responsible, and it put
me in a tailspin for a few days. And then did what I always
do and that is to go back to my purpose. I realized my decision
to do WTR was to take a stand. We oftentimes have to take stands
in our country and in our world where we don't know the outcome
and can't control it. But this can't stop us from taking stands.
It's almost like putting an energetic stake in the ground. Whether
or not it makes it in the history books, there's something about
the power of that energy, like "this is the spot of integrity
on which I stand." And that got me right back to center. I was
required to go to an IRS hearing with the head agent, and I
went in there so clear and centered and left feeling the same
way. It's so crucial that we be willing to just make these decisions.
It's coming from a place of conscience.
Exactly. We do the right thing because it's the right thing
to do, regardless of the outcome. And another thing I tell people
regarding activism and doing WTR is: What else would I want
to do with my life anyway? Many people, including many in my
family, are well meaning and narrow minded fundamentalists who
are part of the myth of the "American Dream." When I spend time
with these people and then others who take great risks, I see
that the energy between the two is just different. I think people
think they are happy with just the two-car garage, the 2.5 children,
and the white picket fence. But really I don't think they are
experiencing life to its fullest.
Have you continued to resist taxes since that initial
Absolutely. I set up a system whereby I could make an income
that was below the poverty line. Part of my focus has always
been about simplicity. The IRS agents were like "How could you
live on that? It's not possible." I replied, "Yes it is. I don't
own a car. I take public transportation. I live very simply."
The most money I spend is on eating organic food because that's
important to me. For my clothes I shop at thrift stores. And
now my challenge is that there are other projects I would like
to do, and I have to find a way to do them where I keep the
project separate from me so the IRS has no legal standing for
How do you see WTR in the bigger picture of grassroots
activism and civil disobedience actions?
I've told people from the very beginning that WTR is doing
civil disobedience every single day. In this country we seem
addicted to what I call "The One Hit Wonder." We go for one
big day of direct action and then get frustrated when the media
doesn't give the action much airplay. Every action for justice
is an important step to take, and there's something powerful
about taking one step after the other. To me WTR is that: A
commitment. It's like my two years and eight days in a tree.
I called that my "ground fast," because I was away from the
ground for that long. Every choice that is about an everyday
commitment is a powerful choice to make.
Do you have any ideas about letting more people know
I've found it to be a challenge. When I do events that are
a part of my nonprofit, I can't advertise or promote WTR because
that is against the law, whereas I am protected under the constitution
if I am talking about WTR as my own opinion. Circle of Life
does a lot of important work in the world, and it is important
for me to protect that work. I have so many people who come
up to me and ask [about WTR] and I give them the website. I
tell them about my own experience. I talk about the WTR communities
across the country. Media is an important means for getting
out info on WTR, and we are lucky to have mainstream media coverage
on Tax Day.
I chose to take this stand while marching in the financial
district in San Francisco right in the very beginning of the
protests [against the Iraq War]. I helped shut down the financial
district, the federal building, and three different intersections.
I was out in the streets exercising my responsibilities as a
citizen to ask for some accountability of my government. And
it really hit me: How many people are going to go back to their
lives and contribute to the very same thing they are out here
protesting today? How many people drove here, one or two people
per car to protest a war for oil? This was at the time I had
found out I had this money available to me because of a lawsuit
settlement. (It's not like I'm able to earn that much per year!)
I found out the government wanted to take 32% of it. I tried
to find ways to keep it from them and lawyers said, "You have
to pay them; just be thankful for this other money you have
to work with in the world." I really struggled with that. And
then that day in the financial district I didn't struggle anymore.
I said to myself there is no way I can give that money to the
very same thing I am out here protesting against.
It's really interesting to see how many people will go out
there and get arrested and do symbolic actions and won't take
this step. I think oftentimes humans really act in the space
of crisis. We also act in the space of inspiration, which is
a really powerful way to act. I'm more excited about people
who choose to act from inspiration rather than crisis. My sense
is that if things get better in this country, even a little
bit better, that people will be numbed back into their comfort.
If things get much worse, there is a potential for leverage.
I think growing the WTR movement means creating events that
are inspirational and involve having celebrities, since that
is what attracts people. There are very few famous people who
have done WTR but my guess is that there are a few like Joan
Baez or Woody Harrelson that might come.
For me being famous is more difficult than doing WTR. I am
nervous each time I get up on stage, but I remind myself that
I have made a commitment and so I do it. It's important to listen
to what you believe is important in life, that which calls you
to a commitment. So I'm willing to continue putting myself out
there in the limelight, and part of my commitment is to help
people realize that I'm not a celebrity, that I'm a person.
I chose to take a stand and that's what made me a celebrity.
Thank you for taking time today to share your thoughts
with us and also for the work you continue to do.
Absolutely! Anything I can do to help I'd love to since I want
to be an ally and a teammate on this.
Julia Butterfly Hill is the author of The Legacy of
Luna, about her tree-sit, and One Makes a Difference.
More information about her and the activities of Circle of Life
can be found online at www.circleoflife.org
or at PO Box 3764, Oakland, CA 94609, (510) 601- 9790. Also,
see the related site, Activism Is Patriotism, where NWTRCC
is listed under the "Money" button, www.activismispatriotism.org.
Daniel Woodham is a war tax resister who lives in North Carolina.
He is on NWTRCC's Administrative Committee.
|Our thoughts are with all our friends at Christian Peacemaker
Teams and the four CPT activists missing in Iraq. We hope
for their safe return as we hope and work for an end to
the madness of war. For updates see www.cpt.org
[Return to List of Headlines]
Telephone Tax Refunds?
Nine federal courts have stated that the 3% excise tax does not
apply to phone bills where the charge is based solely on the length
of the call and not on the distance. Under Code Sec. 4251 the
telephone excise tax is imposed on telephone services for which
the amount of a toll charge varies "with distance and elapsed
time." The key word is "and."
In a November 2005 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Sixth Circuit, OfficeMax is entitled to a full refund of
the $380,297 in federal excise tax paid on flat rate serv ice
from 1999 through 2002. On December 9, 2005, the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed a District
Court's judgment on the same issue for the National Passenger
Corporation. This is a big deal to the IRS because as much as
$9 billion in potential tax refund claims rest on the resolution
of this issue. So if your phone charges are the same no matter
where you call in the United States, you have legal support
for saying you do not owe the tax.
But be warned, the IRS has stated that it will still attempt
collection of the tax in these circumstances and backed this
up by the fact that they are still prosecuting appeals in four
other courts at the moment. While any taxpayer could request
a refund back three years, a recent article states, "A person
entitled to a $50 refund would have to fill out forms a dozen
times to get the three years' worth of refunds permitted under
tax law. Collecting records and preparing the form would take
about seven hours." (USA TODAY, Dec 13, 2005) An idea has come
into NWTRCC that wtr groups do a fundraising project for NWTRCC
applying for phone tax refunds for people as a service!
-Thanks to Lincoln Rice.
More resisters seem to be calling about whether to take the IRS
up on its offer for a "Collection Due Process Hearing" that comes
with the "Final Notice, Intent to Levy." These CDP hearings are
a new provision of the Internal Revenue Code, guaranteed under
sections 6320 and 6330, which were added in 1998 but only recently
fully implemented. Checking back with a few people who called
about this and said they intended to schedule a hearing, it appears
that things did not go very far. While some resisters want to
be able to explain to the IRS their reasons for refusing to pay,
the IRS is not anxious to listen. WTRs have been warned that if
their arguments fall into the "frivolous" category at best they
will get a hearing over the phone and at worst they could get
a frivolous fine. A Raging Grannie resister hoped that fellow
Grannies could protest outside the office while she had her hearing,
but she was only offered a telephone interview.
NWTRCC legal adviser Peter Goldberger says that the law does
not provide for any "frivolous argument" penalty for offering
explanations for one's actions at a CDP Hearing, so that any
such threats are either a misunderstanding by the agent or a
bluff. Also, Peter notes that the IRS regulation stating that
appeals will not be granted to a taxpayer who wishes to advance
"political, philosophical, or constitutional" arguments is not
written to apply to CDP hearings, and the law itself allows
"the taxpayer" to raise "any relevant issue." Within those limits,
a hearing should not be denied on the basis of the reasons to
be offered. (The law does not say that the hearing has to be
in person, however.)
We would like to hear from more people who have experience
with the CDP hearing process at any stage. Please contact the
NWTRCC office at 1-800-269-7464 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taxable Income Levels
NWTRCC offers the standard deductions/personal exemption chart
as a guide for people who choose to live below the taxable income.
IRS standard deduction and exemption amounts are adjusted annually
for cost-of-living increases.
However, if you choose to file, it is possible to exceed these
income levels, but end up owing no tax (including receiving
back 100% of any withholding) by using such options as the Earned
Income Credit if you qualify; taking allowances for dependents;
making use of pension funds or health benefit plans that reduce
one's taxable income; and taking deductions such as for at-home
businesses. NWTRCC does not give advice on filling out tax forms
or ways to reduce taxable income; there is information on the
web for this (such as, www.sniggle.net/Experiment).
To figure out your 2006 income level before owing income taxes,
identify your category and multiply the personal exemption by
the number of dependents you can claim, including yourself,
then add your standard deduction. For example, if you are married
and filing jointly, with two children, you would add $13,200
($3,300 x 4 to $10,300, equaling a taxable level $23,500. Below
this amount your family would owe no income taxes for the year
(see below for filing requirements). This calculation also gives
the annual amount income the IRS needs to leave you if they
are garnishing your wages. This formula does not apply to Social
Filing Threshold: In most cases the numbers on the chart represent
the maximum gross income adults can make 2006 before the IRS
requires a federal income tax return to be filed. The numbers
for current filing for tax year 2005 are: Single: $8,200; Married
filing jointly, $16,400; Head of Household, $10,500; Married,
filing separately, $3,200; surviving spouse, $13,200. The filing
threshold is a bit higher for people who are over 65. (See IRS
Publication 17) This information is provided not to encourage
one method or another but as the basis for informed decisions.
2006 IRS Deductions and Exemptions
|| Standard Deduction
| Married, filing jointly
| Married, filing separately
| Head of household
An additional $1,000 standard deduction may be claimed by a
married taxpayer who is at least 65 years old or blind ($2,000
if 65 or older and blind). If the taxpayer is single, 65 or
over or blind, an additional $1,250 is allowed. The personal
exemption phases out at higher income levels. More information
about standard deduction can be found on the back of the IRS
W-4 form (2006).
[Return to List of Headlines]
We are grateful to each individual and group who responded to
our fall appeal, and for the special 2006 contribution through
the Mother's Money Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation as
well as the Maine WTR Resource Center. Your support keeps NWTRCC
[Return to List of Headlines]
We are still in need of contacts in Montana, New Hampshire, and
Nebraska. Contact the NWTRCC office if you know WTRs in those
states who might be interested. Also contact the office if you
would like the full list of counselors, contacts, and affiliate
groups in the U.S.
[Return to List of Headlines]
WTR Outreach at SOA & Beyond
Once again NWTRCC and WTRs were well-represented at the School
of Americas Watch rally and civil disobedience in Columbus, Georgia,
November 19-20, 2005. On the 20th, more than 19,000 people stood
vigil at the gates of Fort Benning to demand that this U.S. Army
training center be closed. Forty-one were arrested and 34 of them
face trial on January 30, 2006. Many on the list of arrestees
are war tax resisting friends. At least 10 WTRs helped with the
NWTRCC table, and coordinator Robert Randall reported that they
had a great time. "Except for the last two hours getting rained
out, we adequately staffed the literature table the entire time,
and we distributed all 4,000 of the special flyers made up for
the event," said Robert. Hopefully some on the counselors list
have received follow up calls or emails from some who stopped
by the table.
NWTRCC literature was also available at the Oklahoma City
Fall Peace Festival. The brochures received good attention being
stationed on the Oklahoma City Friends meeting table next to
the free Quaker oat cookies.
Holiday Surprise for NCWTR
Members of Northern California War Tax Resistance were surprised
by a large turn out at their end of the year gathering. The event
was jointly sponsored with the San Francisco Friends Meeting,
where there is new energy to encourage participants to engage
in either phone tax resistance or the 1040 club. Given the time
of year-the Tuesday between Christmas and New Years-the organizers
expected a few die-hards from each group, and were delighted by
the energy of over twenty people who were drawn to the gathering
by calendar listings in local papers. What was thought would be
a planning meeting turned into a mini Intro Workshop, and tax
season planning was put off till January. Northern California
also has a new WTR discussion listserv e which should help facilitate
local communication. Anyone interested can sign up at: http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/ncwtr_discuss.
I have chosen to include the following statement with my 2005
income tax form. Please use this idea in any way that you believe
might be interesting and possibly useful for others, and include
the email address also. Many of us are searching for a way to
respond to the current crisis. Garland Robertson, Pastor, Austin
Mennonite Church, Austin, TX, email@example.com
To the IRS
Because of the 237 documented misrepresentations made by the
U.S. government for initiating war with Iraq detailed in "Iraq
on the Record," I am enclosing only the portion of my income
tax designated to support public welfare programs. The remainder
has been sent to The Carter Center to support their work of
identifying the sources of international conflict and mediating
provisions for equitable resolutions. I request to be informed
of the reasoning behind why the U.S. started this war. May it
go well with you.
Sincerely, G Robertson
Uncle Sam wants Sally-Alice Thompson, 82, and Mahassan Shukry,
71, but they won't go. Thompson served in the Navy during World
War II. Shukry is from Iraq and has been in the U.S. for 26 years.
They both received recruitment letters from the Marine Corps
saying the Marines could use their Arabic language skills. Thompson
said that she knows only a few words of Arabic. The women are
members of the Raging Grannies, who protest war with humorous
songs and sometimes a can-can dance. On November 10, 2005, Thompson
and Shukry, along with more Grannies (including war tax resister
Dorie Bunting) and their supporters entered the Marine Corps
recruitment office on San Mateo Boulevard in Albuquerque to
tell the recruiters that they would respectfully decline the
invitations. The action was well-covered by local media, and
the recruiter apologized for the letter. The Grannies left some
home-baked cookies, although the Marines told KUNM they would
not be eating the cookies. They would not comment as to why.
Here are the words to a couple Raging Grannie songs, appropriate
for tax days. More can be found on the websites noted.
"Wasteful Military Spending"
Taxes unending, military spending
(Tune: "Frere Jacques"; Edmonton Grannies)
What a waste! What a waste!
Reinstate some sanity-
Turn it to humanity.
Work for peace! Work for peace!
"We Ain't Gonna Pay No More"
(Tune: "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More"; Alice Sturm Sutter, WILPF
NY Metro Branch)
Ain't gonna pay no more no more
We ain't gonna pay no more!
How the hey can they cut my pay
To fund their gruesome war?!
[Return to List of Headlines]
Get Yours Now!
Be sure to stock up on your leafleting and tabling materials for
tax day! All bulk orders have postage in addition to the cost
of materials and can be invoiced. Below are a few options.
See the website (www.nwtrcc.org/publications.htm)
for a full list or call the office for a copy of our Resource
List. NWTRCC, 1-800-269-7464 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Peace Tax Return brochure - 8˘ each
- "Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes" - pie chart flyer
from War Resisters League - 10˘ each for orders of 200 or
fewer (WRL handles larger orders: 339 Lafayette St., NY, NY
- "Why Isn't Everyone Who's For Peace A War Tax Resister?
Answers to Common Questions" - (brochure style) 15˘ each general
orders, 12˘ each for affiliates (or download the flyer version
from our website publications page)
- War Tax Resistance: A Guide to Withholding Your Support
from the Military, 144 page book. $15 each plus $2 postage
(call for bulk rates)
- Practical War Tax Resistance Series ($1 each; 50˘ for affiliates)
- #1: Controlling Withholding (updated Jan. 2006); #2: To
File Or Not To File; #3: How To Resist Collection; #4: Self-Employment;
#5: Low Income/Simple Living; #6: Organizational Resistance
- WTR Exhibit - six 22"x34" posters (not mounted). $30 postpaid
- "Ask Me About War Tax Resistance" buttons. Single buttons
free. Call about bulk orders.
Make Levees Not War!
Bumperstickers available from the National Campaign for a Peace
Tax Fund. 11" x 3", blue and white vinyl, $2.50 each.
Order from the website, www.peacetaxfund.org,
or call 1-888-732-2382. For bulk orders, call or email, email@example.com.
[Return to List of Headlines]
Join Us In Seattle!
The next NWTRCC gathering and meeting will be held May 5-7, 2006,
in Seattle, hosted by the Nonviolent Action Community of Cascadia.
Mark your calendars and watch for more information in the mail
or the next issue. If you or your group would like to host a NWTRCC
gathering, we'd love to come your way and will help organize it
Please contact the NWTRCC office for more information.
NWTRCC's Administrative Committee (AdComm) seeks 3 new members,
who will be chosen from nominees at the May 2006 meeting in Seattle.
We are looking for 1 full member (serves 2 years) and 2 alternates
(1 year as alternate plus 2 years as full member) to attend 2
weekend meetings per year (travel paid for full members) and oversee
the work of NWTRCC, plan the Coordinating Committee meetings,
and help with projects during the year. The deadline for nominations
is March 15, 2006.
Current members are Eszter Freeman* (CA), Lincoln Rice* (WI),
Susan Balzer (KS), Daniel Woodham (NC), and Alice Liu (CA).
Please contact the office for a job description, or send in
nominations and we will follow up with further details. Affiliate
groups should make a special effort to offer nominations.
*These members complete their terms in May 2006.
War Tax - Responsibility - Peace Tax
The Eleventh International Conference on War Tax Resistance and
Peace Tax Campaigns will take place October, 26-29, 2006, Woltersdorf
(near Berlin). Planning is underway, and the event is hosted by
Netzwerk Friedenssteuer. The costs for accommodation and food
are about 95 EUR.
Information can be found at www.peacetax-2006.com,
or contact the organizers: FriedrichHeilmann Seestr, 21 D-15537,
Erkner, Germany, +49-3362-503071, firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Return to List of Headlines]
The Making of an Activist
By Peter Smith
I was a product of the 50's: Civil Defense drills, the Red
Menace, McCarthyism, super patriotism, Korean War, etc. I joined
NROTC in college so my parents would not have to pay my tuition
and books. I had two younger sisters they needed to send to
college. I did not like Navy life and resigned after spending
the required four years in service, although my politics were
as right wing as ever. While I was in the Navy we had to endure
countless counter-insurgency lectures, as the military advisors
were already starting their work in Vietnam. I arrived at the
University of Wisconsin in the fall of 1964 and immediately
joined a group called Young Christian Students (YCS), since
it was the only student group at the Catholic Center.
The YCS group at Wisconsin was very reflective and at the
same time very action oriented. We were encouraged to take on
projects that would help alleviate some injustice at the University.
Some of these projects were next to impossible. One of my friends
and I tried to figure out how to stop students from wasting
so much food in the dining hall. But, by tackling projects which
seemed unattainable, I learned that it is not success that is
important, but commitment to do what seems to be right and constant
questioning of that commitment by dialogue with those who hold
other views. Although I didn't know it then, this commitment
and questioning is at the heart of the nonviolent lifestyle.
It was during this time of intense reflection/action that
we heard that Martin Luther King Jr. had been beaten and attacked
by police dogs when he and a small group of his followers had
tried to march from Selma to Montgomery. This news electrified
the nation, and young people from all over the country piled
on buses to travel to Alabama to march with him. But the buses
were all redirected to Washington, D.C. Dr. King only wanted
those trained in nonviolent direct action to be with him. He
was afraid that untrained hotheads would retaliate violently
against his oppressors, and the civil rights movement would
lose its moral high ground.
The YCS group rented a bus and traveled to Montgomery when
Dr. King decided to open the march on its last day to all who
supported his movement. That march was a conversion experience
for me. I had to overcome my fear and engage in my first nonviolent
direct action. The line of march was several people abreast
and stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions.
We flowed out into the square in front of the Alabama capitol
with its confederate flag flying high overhead and spent the
afternoon listening to speeches by very committed individuals,
including Dr. King himself.
I was to hear Dr. King again in Chicago a few years later,
when he was speaking out against the Vietnam War, and I was
moved to the core by his simple eloquence. His message of non-violence
rooted in Christian principles, his courage to stand up for
what he believed in when the odds seemed insurmountable, motivated
me to dedicate my life to non-violent struggle against racism
and other forms of injustice.
The student body at Wisconsin had many confrontations with
CIA officials, military recruiters, and DOW Chemical Company
representatives. Often the smell of tear gas would accompany
me on my way home from class. I engaged in several direct actions
involving ROTC at Wisconsin. Many of my friends were burning
their draft cards and/or fleeing to Canada to avoid the draft,
but since I had already served, I was exempt from the draft.
After graduating in 1968, and starting a teaching job at a predominantly
black college in New Orleans, I found it hard to keep up my
resistance to the war. Then I heard about war tax resistance
and that the government was drafting my tax dollars to kill
Vietnamese. I started with phone tax refusal, but soon escalated
to refusing the military portion of the income tax - it was
over 60% in those days. I had three small children, so it was
important that my wife supported our resisting war taxes. By
that time I had moved to South Bend, Indiana, and found that
many Notre Dame students were ready to take action against the
war. We set up a small draft counseling office and held many
demonstrations on campus and in town. I first committed civil
disobedience during the May Day, 1970, "Shut Down Washington"
events and experienced 14 hours and a macing in the DC jail.
Although I offered to start paying taxes as a good faith gesture
after Nixon ended the war, it soon became clear that there was
no reduction in military spending. My wife and I have been refusing
to voluntarily pay the military portion of our income taxes
ever since. We file the 1040 each year but refuse to send the
payment. Because my wife is self-employed, and I claimed 10
allowances on my W-4 form, we avoided withholding on the refused
amount. Unlike other war tax resisters, we have never succeeded
in shielding our bank accounts and salaries from the IRS. They
have collected everything they claim we owe plus penalties and
interest. They have garnished wages, seized bank accounts and
my IRA, put liens on my house, and even taken insurance payments
due to my wife's medical practice.
However, I have found it very empowering to be able to say
"No" to the government as it has continued to wage wars in Nicaragua,
Grenada, Panama, Colombia, Iraq, and many other places. In answer
to the many who have questioned the effectiveness of our resistance,
we point to the way it has helped us stay active as citizens
over the years. We tell folks that the penalties and interest
are used to pay IRS employees and don't end up in the general
fund. Also, the power of nonviolence is at work. The comptroller
who tried to get me fired when my wages were first seized wrote
a note expressing his respect for my stand when he retired.
When I vigil on the corner every Monday or refuse to pay the
military portion of my income tax each year, Dr. King's example
is always before me, pointing out the way of nonviolence with
its belief in the innate ability of people to change their minds
and hearts when confronted with the power of truth and love.
Peter Smith is active with Michiana War Tax Refusers. He
is a webmaster for NWTRCC and served on NWTRCC's Administrative
Committee from 2002-2005.
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