Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…

A protest in front of the Reichstag - two people hold a banner reading "BAN URANIUM WEAPONS" in front of a scattered group of about 40 people.

by Cathy Deppe “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” – is a favorite Robert Frost line I mused over on my first trip to Berlin for the International Peace Bureau (IPB) World Peace Conference.   Germany was readying for Unity Day October 3 – a national holiday celebrating the day “the wall” came down and the people of Germany were once again united.   I could hardly wait to take my first walk in this bustling, rebuilt city, east through the Tiergarten to the famous Brandenburg Gate that anchored the Berlin Wall for 27 years.   At first obscured from sight by an immense Ferris wheel set up for Unity Day festivities, the Gate soon came into spectacular view as a […]

Our Movements Are Connected!

Sam speaking during the fishbowl exercise.

The New England WTR Gathering, October 14-16 The Gathering was powerful. I drove there and back with Ruth Benn, the NWTRCC Coordinator, and we had a great conversation about the history of war tax resistance in the car ride. The Agape Community in Ware, Massachusetts, generously opened their space for us all to meet, including finding beds for 15 of us over the course of the weekend. Friday evening and Sunday morning sessions at Agape were focused on war tax resistance stories and organizing. The theme of the weekend was how to recognize the intersections between our movements and join together in resistance to the oppressive system. The highlight was a Saturday program in Amherst, when Joanne Sheehan (WRL New […]

Reaching across the border

white sign with skull and crossbones and barbed wire, saying in black and red text: "BORDER MILITARIZATION KILLS"

I’m happy to report that our outreach at the SOAW border convergence at ambos Nogales (both Nogales, on the US and Mexico sides) went very well! NWTRCC network members, including myself, Anne Barron, Rachel Soltis, and Coleman Smith, were present at each activity throughout the weekend, including the vigil at the Eloy Detention Center (where undocumented immigrants are imprisoned awaiting deportation or release into the US), the march to the border on Saturday, the tabling and workshops, and the Sunday activities. At the border on Saturday morning I met Paula Kahn from CODEPINK who is promoting a People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War in December. She asked NWTRCC to be a part of this effort. I’ve proposed a potential endorsement and […]

Welcome NWTRCC’s new field organizer!


In May, the Coordinating Committee approved spending funds to pay a field organizer to conduct a survey of the NWTRCC network, figure out ways to support and grow our affiliates, as well as to reach out to new populations that NWTRCC isn’t currently reaching. In September, after the hiring committee evaluated over 30 applicants and conducted interviews, we decided to offer the work to community organizer and war tax resister Sam Koplinka-Loehr! Avid readers of our blog might remember Sam’s letter to the IRS from last year. Sam will be working closely with NWTRCC’s two current consultants, coordinator Ruth Benn and social media consultant Erica Weiland. He will work part-time from Philadelphia, where he also currently works as a nanny. […]

Ammon Hennacy and other early modern war tax resisters

NWTRCC network member David Gross has been working to release the enormous volume, The Book of Ammon, a collection of writings by the Christian anarchist Ammon Hennacy, as a free e-book. This book, currently out of print, is a fascinating look at a man famous for his draft resistance, his war tax resistance, and his involvement with the Catholic Worker movement. I’m one of the test readers of the book, looking for typos (Hennacy wasn’t much for proofreading!). A few items caught my interest, and I’d like to share some additional research. 1. Ammon Hennacy repeatedly states that he turned to farm work, after leaving his job as a social worker in 1942, because it was the only kind of […]

Reasons to Celebrate

Courtesy of Conscience

Somehow the IRS is attuned to vacations and holidays. They like to surprise you with their letters, bills and perhaps stronger demands just when you’re in a good mood or feeling relaxed. Like last week: I came back from vacation to a pile of 10 “Amount Due” letters from the IRS (not sure what our house sitter thought about that). There was one for each year still within the Statute of Limitations for collection. Since I file and refuse to pay, the IRS has 10 years to collect from the date of assessment, or about a month after you file (unless they dispute your return or don’t file; then assessment will come later). So I got a letter for each […]

Join NWTRCC at the SOAW border convergence!

Text: "Mass Mobilization at the U.S./Mexico Border - Resist Militarization - Support Refugees - End Migrant Incarceration - October 7-10, 2016"

War tax resisters will be at the Border Convergence with leaflets, literature table, and a workshop. Please help us cover the costs for travel and fees. Donations of any size are much appreciated! Over the past few years, organizing around the legal status and rights of undocumented immigrants has grown significantly. The Obama administration has deported more undocumented immigrants than any other administration, even as many of those immigrants are fleeing unsafe situations caused by US interventionism. As a result, School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) has moved its annual convergence against the Fort Benning, Georgia-based military training facility to the border, centering on Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico. A smaller convergence will still take place in Georgia in November. […]

Unpleasant truths about preemptive strikes: War Is a Lie

After putting the book down for a few months, I recently picked back up my reading of David Swanson’s War Is a Lie, which I got from the author himself at his April 16 appearance in Portland, Oregon. Over this weekend, I think I started to understand why I had put the book down. Just in Chapter 2, “Wars are not launched in defense,” I learned unpleasant facts about how the US government and military had basically goaded Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor through arming the Chinese, using economic sanctions, and preparing for war in nearly plain sight. It’s not to say that I didn’t know that Pearl Harbor wasn’t the brazen act of aggression we are always taught in […]

Opposing nuclear weapons at Lawrence Livermore Lab

Two people attending the rally wearing a piece of paper on their backs with the names of victims of the atomic bombings: Shoichi Sano and Yuriko Hatanaka. Other people in front of them are also wearing papers on their backs with victims' names printed on them.

by Cathy Deppe Last August was the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Japan.  As members of the international peace group Global Network,  Alex and I were fortunate to participate in commemoration services in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  A year later we traveled a shorter distance to California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, to stand again with victims of nuclear war.    We were there to float another lantern downstream to honor the dead.   We wanted to hear direct testimony from those who survived the hibakusha.  Rev. Hanaoka, now a retired Bay Area Methodist minister, was just a baby when the bomb exploded above his town, a child when he lost his mother and sister to radiation exposure, and a […]

Understanding common IRS collection letters

image of IRS letter with heading "You have unpaid taxes for 2015 - Amount due: $1,922.39"

Most war tax resisters who refuse federal income taxes will eventually (or quickly) get a letter from the IRS. Here I describe some of the most common letters one tax-return-filing resister has gotten over the past few years. Resisters who do not file tax returns may get letters more slowly or not at all, until or unless the IRS system determines that a return has not been filed and issues the appropriate paperwork. (Do you want to write about IRS letters you’ve gotten as a non-filer? Write us a blog post! E-mail wartaxresister at nwtrcc dot org.) And you personally may receive all, some, or none of these letters. For more about the collection process and how it affects war […]

Fits and Starts with WTR Organizing

Sticky Questions

Here in New York City there are a lot of war tax resisters and people who support war tax resistance. It should be a big, active community, but over the years and from experience, we’ve found it exceedingly hard to get people together. There are about 125 people on the email list for NYC resisters. Some have moved out of the city by now, but a lot of those 125 are still here. A couple years ago an informal support session attracted the host and the two of us long-timers who initiate most of the workshops or meetings in NYC. There gets to be a point when you think it’s more detrimental to try to have a meeting if only […]

Expanding war and nuclear programs

The group blocking the side door kept up a steady chant of “Shadows and Ashes, Never Again; Nuclear Weapons, Disarm Now.”

During the arrests supporters chanted, “Arrest those who wage war, not those who wage peace.” Photo by Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace.

Foreign Policy just released another episode of its Editor’s Roundtable podcast, called “What does the expanding definition of war mean for the US military?” The panelists discuss Rosa Brooks’ new book, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything, as well as the general idea of the expansion of war into economic intervention and other arenas. The podcast’s a little dry, but has many interesting moments! FP CEO and editor David Rothkopf says, But the military has a privileged position in the public policy debate. And one of the consequences of the privileged position that the military has, and really has had since the Reagan era, is that the military is about the only part of the government that […]