More anti-war-tax protests from around the world

| International,National,News

War tax resisters were busy during tax season this year, speaking out about resistance and redirection. Here are some more reports you might have missed:

  • Souther Cal war tax redirectionWar tax resisters in San Diego held a redirection event, giving away over $6,000 to various groups:

I pay my taxes, but not to the Department of Defense. I pay them instead to the people here working to create peace in San Diego,” said event organizer Anne Barron of SCWTAF. “War is violence in the extreme. I cannot pay for the bombs we rain on countries half-way around the world.”

  • This letter to the editor by Tim Eisenbeis in the Freeman, South Dakota Courier mentions Wally Nelson and also says, “As a Christian, I cannot in good conscience look the other way and blindly pay for the death and destruction that military spending buys, especially not when it is so out of proportion to life-giving spending. The US armed forces can get along with even fewer soldiers but not without the people’s money, so it is my tax dollars that actually mean something. Given the options, I feel compelled to do my utmost to avoid paying federal income tax. The simplest legal way to do that is to keep our income below the taxable level, which so far, as a small-scale farmer, has not been very hard to do. Unfortunately, this means that we cannot help pay for the many laudable federal programs we would support.”
  • Bill Glassmire wrote to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, stating, “For Corvallis, and for cities and counties across Oregon, quality of life is lower than it could be because there is insufficient funding to provide services to our residents. There are multiple reasons for the shortfall, such as Measure 5, Measure 50 and PERS obligations, but one fundamental cause is not discussed. For the federal income tax you pay, almost 50 cents of each dollar (in fiscal year 2017, $768 billion, 44 percent of income tax revenue) is spent on U.S. militarism. That spending effectively subverts the American dream of a better life for us all.
  • An April 2016 "penny poll" in Gangjeong: a yellow sign with text written in Korean, asking participants to put their stickers next to the spending priorities they support.Jason Rawn reported from Gangjeong in South Korea on April 11:

“With pretty short notice, we got a modified Penny Poll done today. In about 24 hours, we put our poll together. People here were really excited about it, both in the preparation and the actual polling. It was really great to experience. Due to the language barrier, the number of people involved, and the diversification of labor, our poll didn’t produce any data of statistical significance: we had no “War” or “Defense” option, and we gave participants 4 stickers for five options. We used the categories posted on the International Peace Bureau’s Global Campaign on Military Spending’s “Global Days of Action on Military Spending” project, which can be found online at demilitarize.org. The five categories they propose as alternatives to misinvestment in war are:

1. Investing in peace: disarmament, conflict prevention and resolution, human security

2. Sustainable development and anti-poverty programs

3. Climate change and biodiversity loss. For mitigation and adaptation (I added “bioremediation”)

4. Public services/social justice, human rights, gender equality, and green jobs creation

5. Humanitarian programs to support the most vulnerable groups

Investment in these areas is “part of a wider global transformation towards a culture of peace.” Our actions tomorrow will also be geared toward this global transformation. We will meet at the Peace Center to finish our bilingual flyer and make signs for our demonstration, which will take place during our daily vigil/mass/blockade of the construction gate at the illegal navy base here in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island in “South Korea.” As is the case of the intended expansion of the USMC Camp Schwab war base in Henoko, Okinawa, the war base in Gangjeong is being built to support the aggressive US “Asia Pivot” against China and Russia. Our signage will include a trilingual banner reading, “No Tax Money for War” in Korean and Japanese and, “Divest from the Pentagon” in English. The banner was printed by our friends demonstrating 24/7 in Henoko, who added the Chinese character for “Solidarity.” “

Want to know more about what NWTRCC network members were up to around Tax Day this year? Read last week’s blog post, the full list of reports from Tax Day events, and writings around the Internet, and listen to our media appearances!

Post by Erica