What to think about for tax resistance in 2017, 2018, and beyond

Lots of people are looking for the basics of tax resistance — whether against war and violence, the border wall, closing the door on refugees, racism, a mass deportation force, getting Trump to release his tax forms, the Trump agenda in general, having a president that many see as unqualified, or some new executive order we might hear about next week. Tax day is April 18, 2017, the last day to file 2016 taxes. Whether you owe or not, whether you are resisting or not, here are some considerations and ideas for those newly interested in tax resistance as a protest strategy: File on paper and mail in your form. It’s one way to slow the system. The IRS has […]

Trump’s wall plans are built on existing border militarization

an image of the rusty brown border fence at Nogales, Sonora/Arizona, seen from the Mexican side

October 2016: I’m crossing the border to Nogales, Arizona, US by foot, returning from a brief visit to Nogales in Sonora, Mexico, following the SOAW Border Convergence. A tall rusty steel border fence, maybe 20-25 feet tall, lines the border in both directions as far as I can see, dotted occasionally by even taller surveillance towers. While my entry to Mexico was a matter of walking in, I stand in a line for 45 minutes to re-enter the US. We’re waiting to present our passports, which are scanned and examined closely, get questioned by Border Patrol agents, and perhaps be sniffed by large Border Patrol dogs. I’m white and a US citizen, so I pass through easily, but I wonder […]

Upcoming Webinars on War Tax Resistance and Redirection

There has been renewed interest in war tax resistance following Trump’s inauguration. Something has clicked in the minds of thousands of people across the country… we don’t want to pay for Trump’s agenda! While many of the reasons people are fed up—extreme militarism, mass incarceration, police brutality, and mass deportations—are part of the foundation of our country, it is exciting to see many new people contacting NWTRCC and wanting to organize in their communities. We have a series of webinars coming up in the next few weeks to support this new wave of resisters. Join us online to learn more about war tax resistance and our redirection effort for this year! Webinars War Tax Resistance 101 with Erica Weiland, NWTRCC Social Media […]

Musings on Obstructing a Public Way, War Tax Resistance, and More

Why Don’t We Do It In the Road? Musings on Obstructing a Public Way, War Tax Resistance, War Profiteering, Divestment, Livelihood, and Destroying Hundreds of Targets at a Rate of Up to Ten Per Minute by Jason Rawn I was involved in an organized civil resistance action last June 18 at shipbuilders Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The 12 of us, now called the “Zumwalt 12,” sat in the road blocking traffic just outside BIW for ten minutes at the “christening” of the second of 3 super-high-tech Zumwalt-class stealth destroyers. The original intention was to build 32 of these unproven warships “capable of destroying hundreds of targets at the rate of up to ten per minute[!],” but due to […]

Be A Public War Tax Resister

Well, there is a lot going on. The phone at the NWTRCC office has been ringing from people who want to start a tax resistance campaign to get that guy in the white house to release his tax forms. There are links to a call for April 15 demonstrations on the same topic. Another one suggests threatening to resist taxes if the popular vote loses out to the electoral college again. On NWTRCC’s Facebook page there is new discussion about how to broaden the call for tax resistance in ways that are more inclusive of the variety of issues the new administration makes blatantly pressing: immigration, racism, human and civil rights, health care…. While the discussions go deeper and maybe […]

Ammon Hennacy’s “One-Man Revolution”

Ammon Hennacy: The Autobiography of a Catholic Anarchist

A man asked me: “Why does a fellow like you—with an education, and who has been all over the country—end up in this out-of-the-way place, working for very little on a farm?” I explained that people who had good jobs in factories had a withholding tax for war taken from their pay, and that people who worked on farms had no tax taken from their pay. I told him that I refused to pay taxes. He was a returned soldier, and said that he did not like war either, but what could a fellow do about it? I replied that we each did what we really wanted to. ―Ammon Hennacy, The Book of Ammon Ammon Hennacy refused to pay war taxes […]

War Tax Resisters Plan To Protest The Inauguration!

Next weekend, united states president-elect donald trump will be in Washington, DC for the inauguration. There are a number of marches and protests happening in DC as well as around the country on both January 20th (inauguration day) and the 21st. War tax resisters have a unique message to bring to these actions, especially at this time. There is a growing faction on the left that is disenchanted with electoral politics and is wanting to take direct action. Already, the NWTRCC office has been contacted by a number of people who are fed-up and don’t want to pay for a trump presidency. So what can we do about it? Well, war tax resisters are organizing around the country to march, […]

Will I go to jail if I refuse to pay war taxes?

One of the top questions we get at NWTRCC is, “If I don’t pay the IRS, won’t I go to jail?” Our response: “People who are first considering war tax resistance often have the mistaken impression that people who refuse to pay their taxes from motives of conscience are at great risk of going to jail or having their homes taken away from them. In fact these risks are so rare that the list of war tax resistance cases since World War II is a short one. Here, for example is a list of war tax resisters taken to court or jailed for their resistance, and a list of property seizures and attempted property seizures against war tax resisters. The lists taken together […]

Don’t Lament: Resist and Redirect in 2017

Anti-Trump rally

This piece originally appeared in the December 2016 / January 2017 issue of NWTRCC’s bimonthly newsletter, More Than a Paycheck: Refusing to Pay for War. Subscribe to our e-list to receive this newsletter in your inbox! Don’t Lament: Resist and Redirect By Ruth Benn Some months ago a review copy of a book by one of NWTRCC’s founders, Bill Durland, arrived in the office. Since it’s not about war tax resistance, I poked into it but hadn’t gotten to reading it for review. Then the book’s title caught my eye recently, The Demise of American Democracy: Explaining the Crisis and What To Do About It. It was published last spring during an election campaign that presumably only strengthened Durland’s premise: […]

South Korea to the U.S. — Sharing Tactics

The NWTRCC office tends to be a bit quiet at this time of year, but the phone rang early on a recent Friday morning, and a woman’s accented voice explained that some South Korean activists would like to visit the office to learn more about the work of National War Tax Resistance. I was thinking “next week” when she said, how about today? Ed Hedemann agreed to handle the meeting, and I listened in at times. Our three visitors were in the U.S. representing the Peace Delegation of the newly formed People’s Democracy Party (PDP) in South Korea. They turned up carrying their signs from a vigil at the U.N. building where they were protesting Ban Ki-moon, who apparently has […]

Tax resistance in the age of Trump

Over the past month, I’ve been ruminating on the possibilities of war tax resistance in a Trump presidency. At first I was concerned: for folks who are concerned about a diminishing tax base and slashed social services, the idea of further defunding the government might seem ill-timed, at best. However, many people who are not yet war tax resisters are very very motivated by the idea of resisting Trump and his administration’s policies and appointees. And war tax resisters certainly have a lot to question or to be concerned about when it comes to Trump’s foreign policy. Recently, Time magazine published an article from journalist Mark Weston, proposing that people who voted for Hillary Clinton should threaten a federal tax […]

Iraq Tribunal holds the weight of war, lifts voices for truth

Sam Koplinka-Loehr, NWTRCC Field Organizer, testified at the Iraq Tribunal on Friday, December 2nd about the costs of the war. Their testimony is below.

By Sam Koplinka-Loehr (content warning: suicide)   Wow. I am still reeling from being at the People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War last Friday, December 2nd in Washington, DC. The Tribunal focused on the lies and costs of the Iraq War. At the end of the day of testimony, I was inspired and heartbroken. My mind raced, and I had a headache. I felt both energized and tired to my core. Upon walking into the courtroom Friday morning, the love and community spirit was palpable. I was greeted with open arms by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers with Popular Resistance, a great source for movement news. I had just joined the two of them on air a few days earlier […]