“Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1972 Lyle Snider was arrested for claiming 3 billion dependents — the population of the Earth — on his W-4 form. He explained that he felt the population of the earth depended on him (and others) to refuse to pay their war taxes. Charged with filing a false and fraudulent withholding form, Snider was convicted and sentenced to 9 months in prison. A year later an appeals court overturned the conviction because the court found that his exaggeration could not be considered fraud. His open resistance to paying for war was a well-publicized case at the time.
Today Snider would have nearly 7 billion “dependents” and be confronting wars that echo the quagmire of Vietnam at a cost averaging $130 billion a year and thousands of soldiers and civilians killed. The dire consequences of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan — human, economic, environmental, political — can be read in more detail on the website of The Eisenhower Research Project.
The current wars, interventions, and occupations coupled with cuts in social spending and the economic crisis facing cities and states across the country may be what brought you to this website. If so, you are not alone. Hundreds of people visit this site each day looking for a way to strengthen their protest of war or military spending or particular weapons, like the drones that kill indiscriminately from afar. If you begin to refuse to pay for war, you will be joining a network includes people who began their refusal in the 1940s to today. Many have stuck with it because, even when a war ended, excessive funding for the Pentagon — and its future wars — never stopped.
If you are ready to find out more about refusing to pay for war, use the menu links above or jump to one of these pages:
How to Resist
Don’t owe federal income taxes? Other Taxes
5 Actions You Can Do Now
WRL Pie Chart