Tangled Up In Banking

I’ve probably said this before, but it is rather funny how often discussions about war tax resistance lead to questions about banking. If you have a tax debt, having assets is, of course, problematic, and holding that money in an account with your social security number makes it vulnerable to seizure. A no-interest account offers some protection, because U.S. banks report annual interest of $10 or more to the IRS — a direct link back to your bank account(s). If the thought of not earning interest pains you, check out Juanita Nelson’s essay “On Interest” — written a few decades ago but still important food-for-thought. One of the positive side-effects of war tax resistance is that it can lead you […]

After Tax Day, the discussion continues

yard sign with Put People First printed on it; a hen in the grass behind the sign

This hasn’t been a typical year for war tax resistance by any stretch of the imagination, and that includes the atmosphere after Tax Day! Even after Tax Day this year, people are fired up about resistance, funding work for justice and peace, and building a better world. For example, Michael McCarthy wrote this week about the folly of making and selling weapons to ensure national security: This Pentecost season when we call on the Holy Spirit to renew our faith, let us resolve to take steps to stop giving Caesar our first fruits of federal income tax with which to make war, and convert these monies to God’s peacemaking purposes. For the practical measures, risks, responsibilities and spiritual benefits please […]

Thoreau’s work is still relevant

Thoreau

By David Gross I am a war tax resister because Henry David Thoreau convinced me to be one. I was looking for medicine: something to help me ease my troubled conscience and to help me sleep better at night. I turned to Thoreau and instead of medicine, he gave me marching orders. This turned out to be the cure I needed after all. People sometimes remember Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” as being an argument for why people ought to have the right to disobey the law and its officials, when the reasons for doing so are good and noble. But the essay is actually more severe and challenging than that: Thoreau insists that you have the duty to disobey the law […]

A budget for war, wealth, and racism

Nothing in the Trump budget came as a surprise to me. Nevertheless, I often surprise myself with how often I can still feel outraged over the priorities of people in power. I probably don’t need to tell you what a disaster the Trump budget is for those targeted by the US government’s law enforcement and military. (If you want to learn more, a couple of sources addressing this subject are National Priorities Project and TomDispatch.) But in short, the proposed 2018 federal budget reduces non-military discretionary expenses (such as health, housing, education, and more) by $54 billion to pay for $54 billion more for military expenses. The budget summary tells us these cuts are necessary because the world is more […]

Prisoners on War Tax Resistance

By Norm Lowry Poster’s Note: Norm Lowry receives the NWTRCC newsletter at the State Correctional Institution Dallas in Pennsylvania where he is held. He shares the newsletter with other prisoners, so in correspondence I asked if he would report on reactions to our work from other readers at SCI Dallas. I will send comments to Norm to share with his peers and perhaps we can continue a discussion. “While the government seems never to run out of money for guns, bombs and planes, prisons seem never to run out of cells to put somebody in.” — Herman Bell, 43+ years in prison, most of it in solitary confinement, for being black For nearly eight years now, I’ve been purposefully investing […]

Resisting Taxes to Support Racial Justice in the Midwest

At our gathering in St. Louis a few weeks ago, I talked with people about hosting presentations in their communities. I am currently figuring out my work plan for the next six months. I am planning on traveling to meet you and organize with you! To give you a sense of these trips, I want to write a bit about my trip to the Midwest. Following the national gathering, I did a small tour focused on resisting taxes for racial justice. I first went to Chicago. We had a lunch at the Christian Peacemaker Teams office. CPT is a spiritual group that supports frontline struggles. We had a group of CPT staff and tax resisters from Chicago. We talked about […]

Highlights: War tax resisters in St. Louis

Mathew Hoh

Last weekend, the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee met in St. Louis, Missouri. It was a great time! First of all: so many thanks to our host, Chrissy Kirchhoeffer with the Dick Gregory Catholic Worker (pictured below next to David from WeCopwatch), who did the bulk of the organizing for our conference in St. Louis herself, and did an amazing job arranging the housing, food, local connections, and meeting space! Thanks to Veterans for Peace and WILPF – St. Louis for event support and sponsorship. We were lucky to partner with Veterans for Peace to get war tax resister and VFP board member Matthew Hoh out to St. Louis to meet with us. Since Matt first announced his war […]

On being a public war tax resister

image from the left side of a white woman with long blonde hair typing at a laptop

In my 8 years with the war tax resistance community, I’ve heard a lot about the value of using our real names and sharing our stories in public. Lately, as I’ve pondered the barriers to resistance, I’ve concluded that the ideal of going public needs re-examination. (Please note: I originally drafted this essay prior to the launching of a few different public pledge efforts. This post isn’t a direct response to any of them. This writing is also informed by recent discussions about privilege and resistance.) A public resister can inspire others, spread information, publicly redistribute their taxes, and build networks of resistance. Should they end up in a collection situation or tax court case, they can gain support from […]

Tax Day Resistance, Redirection, and Planning Ahead

Tax day is behind us now — but tax season 2018 will be here before we know it! Northern California War Tax Resistance used their time and energy in the Tax March San Francisco to inform participants (who were mostly calling for Trump to release his taxes) about W-4 resistance and to get them thinking about resisting next year. They created this flyer (with matching banner) to hand out during the march: Not only were they referring people to the website for more information, but the group has arranged for a War Tax Resistance 101 live webinar and in-person gathering on Sunday, April 23, to follow up on the march. Follow that link for details and to register; be sure […]

Tax Day marches, strikes, and resistance

The next five days will be filled with marches, rallies, and strikes against military spending and Trump’s secrecy around his tax returns. April 15 is the Tax March in Washington, DC and around the country, while April 18 is Tax Day. Equally important, many events will mourn lives lost in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and other war zones, and call for truly humanitarian aid and an end to armed conflict. War tax resisters are a key part of these effort. (Read NWTRCC’s Tax Day press release for more.) Here are just a few of the great events war tax resisters will be at over the next few days. If you don’t see your town listed, see Tax Day Actions for a […]

Organizing Region to Region: My Travels in Upstate New York

Well, I am back in Philadelphia after a week in upstate New York. Whew! It was a lot of hours on the train and on the road! It was nice, though, to look out the window and see hills, rivers, and lakes. I love Philadelphia, but living in the city I forget the natural beauty of rural areas. When I travel it feels like I cross a threshold and am going into a different world altogether. Over the course of the week, I led three presentations on war tax resistance and racial justice. There was one in Ithaca, Syracuse, and Rochester, NY. I also got to see some friends and family, which was an added bonus. The idea for this trip started at […]

Personal connections and growing war tax resistance

clockwise from left: photo of Peg Morton speaking, Susan Quinlan and Nancy Foster during the pillars of militarism workshop, and the assembled group watches clips of what became the film Death and Taxes

Last week, I was explaining war tax resistance to someone new. They asked how I got started. I talked about attending the November 2008 NWTRCC conference in Eugene. Meeting the knowledgeable and caring NWTRCC community, and having inquisitive and inspiring conversations with a variety of people, was my tipping point to start resistance. Likewise, this new person was inspired by our personal connection. They enthusiastically e-mailed me almost immediately after our discussion. I don’t know what will come of this new contact – much enthusiasm doesn’t translate immediately into resistance, for many different reasons. But I bet the “conversion rate” is higher for folks who know another resister personally. Because NWTRCC’s media visibility is higher than ever, I wonder how […]