Making war tax redirection a more constructive program

NYC-2016-6

In Campaign Nonviolence’s recent conference call, Metta Center for Nonviolence staffers Michael Nagler and Stephanie Van Hook talked about Gandhi’s concept of a constructive program. War tax resisters have a history of giving away their resisted taxes to worthy causes, and we have sometimes called this a “constructive program” in the model of Gandhi. For decades, war tax resisters have deposited money in  “alternative funds” that serve multiple purposes. The interest earned through these funds, often invested in community development credit unions and community loan funds, is distributed as grants to organizations. The depositors can withdraw the money if they wish. War tax resisters can also give money away to alternative funds for redistribution. (And some groups don’t have an […]

More anti-war-tax protests from around the world

Souther Cal war tax redirection

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: War 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 […]

Tax Day 2016 – photos, articles, interviews

Asheville-2016-2

Last year on tax day in New York City there was a long line of people outside the IRS waiting to get inside for forms or to have questions answered. This year there was no line at all. Does that mean the IRS was more efficient? Or was it because people didn’t really notice that the final day to file this year was April 18 (or the 19th in Maine and Massachusetts), so many people had things done by April 15? Whatever the reasons, we had a good group out with signs and banners and handed out lots of WRL pie charts: In Washington, DC, on April 15, some of us vigiled at IRS headquarters on Constitution Avenue before joining up […]

Infographic: Invest in People, Divest from the Pentagon

As promised, here is our new infographic, Invest in People, Divest from the Pentagon – just in time for Tax Day! Please share with all your friends and followers on social media. The full text of the infographic follows the image. You can also download a PDF.   Invest in People, Divest from the Pentagon Redirect your taxes from war to peace! What is divestment? Divestment is the opposite of investment. Instead of putting money into something, hoping to get future benefits and security, you take the money out, hoping to get those benefits and security somewhere else. Divestment campaigns were integral to the international movement against South Africa’s apartheid system. Today divestment campaigns are widely used in movements: against […]

Service and agitation on LA’s Skid Row

cover of the book "Broken and Shared" by Jeff Dietrich

Book review: Dietrich, Jeff. 2011. Broken and Shared: Food, Dignity, and the Poor on Los Angeles’ Skid Row. Marymount Institute Press / Tsehai Publishers. In 1970, Jeff Dietrich was a young draft resister who had just returned to the United States from traveling in Europe. He heard about the Catholic Worker movement at a Peacemakers conference in St. Louis, and set out for the Los Angeles Catholic Worker to learn more. For the last 45 years, he has been dedicated to the various projects of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker (LACW). Community members live on low incomes in solidarity with the poor. LACW, in keeping with the teachings of Dorothy Day, does not have tax-exempt status. LACW is noted for […]

How can I divest from the Pentagon?

Divest from the Pentagon, Invest in People - Redirect your taxes from war to peace! National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee - nwtrcc.org - (800) 269-7464

NWTRCC chose the theme “Divest from the Pentagon, Invest in People” for our 2016 Days of War Tax Action. Divestment (also called disinvestment) has been used to galvanize big changes, like abolishing apartheid in South Africa. Today, it’s used in the movements against fossil fuels and Israeli occupation of Palestine, where supporters pressure institutions and corporations to stop investing in certain governments, industries, or businesses. Divestment campaigns don’t always encourage individuals to see their own complicity in the target industry or behavior. While I don’t think we should only focus on changing ourselves, or trying to make ourselves “perfectly” ethical, we should understand if we are upholding the systems we oppose. And when we invest our taxes in war, that’s […]

Solidarity with Japanese and Korean war resisters

Jason Rawn posted this picture on Facebook of anti-war protesters with a banner created in February 2016 during his stay in Japan. It reads in English, "Dive$t from the Pentagon! No Taxes for War!" and variations on "No Taxes for War!" in Japanese and Korean.

by Jason Rawn   The US military has personnel in at least 175 countries, according to David Swanson in War is a Lie. The US has at least 800 military facilities in other countries. The US misinvests more on war than any other country. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated the US military budget for 2014 at $610 billion. (Other sources put this figure much higher, at over $1,000,000,000,000.) In comparison, Japan was the 9th biggest military spender, at $45.8 billion, and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was 10th with $36.7 billion. These figures make me wonder. If the US war profiteers prioritize war so highly and act so proud of it, why do they extract handouts from […]

Choosing Simple Living

Live simply so that others may simply live.

Recently redmoonsong, who lives in North Carolina and is a committed war tax resister among her many other activities, sent the list below to NWTRCC with this note: Here’s the page I mentioned to you on the phone. One of the things I love about it is that each one begins with action (I really like action). Although I’ve been reading this list for 15 years, I am still inspired by the intelligence, directness and succinctness of Lissner’s writing. Ten Reasons for Choosing A Simpler Lifestyle by Jorgen Lissner As an act of faith performed for the sake of personal integrity and as an expression of a personal commitment to a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources. As an […]

“The Boys Who Said No” and other anti-war media

MaxSandin

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve come across a lot of media of interest to war tax resisters and our supporters! There’s a film in development called The Boys Who Said No, about draft resisters during the Vietnam War. The film name is a reference to that iconic poster of Joan Baez and her sisters sitting on a couch (shown at the right). The film focuses on David Harris, a draft resister, and his wife during that era, Joan Baez (who you may recognize as a Vietnam-era war tax resister herself). I haven’t seen very much in the news analyzing the US military’s drone attack on alleged al Shabaab militants in Somalia. Glenn Greenwald reported on the deaths and […]

Building connections at a San Diego teach-in

divest from pentagon ad

by Anne Barron (Introductory editorial note: On February 15, Activist San Diego hosted a teach-in about war tax resistance, organized by Anne Barron, a war tax resistance counselor and NWTRCC network activist. The promotional materials said: “Communities around the world are resisting American militarism. Join us in a discussion of how each one of us can defund the Pentagon. There are so many ways we pay for war while working for peace. Join us in examining ways each of us can divest from the Pentagon and support resisters!”) We started off the teach-in with food, delicious fresh tapas by a local cooperative, Saboteurs Kitchen.  I felt great about redirecting our war tax dollars to local entrepreneurs.  Andrea of Saboteurs talked […]

War tax resisters: Taking action around the world

Divest from the Pentagon! No taxes for war!

I’m so pleased today to highlight some of the amazing work war tax resisters are doing, both in war tax resistance work and in addition to refusing to cooperate with military taxation! Kathy Kelly was arrested yesterday at Volk Field with fellow Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) activist Brian Terrell for crossing onto the base with a loaf of bread and a letter for drone operators working there. The press release from VCNV states, “People who can’t flee from drone surveillance and attacks have good reason to fear people from the U.S., but instead they have broken bread with Kelly and Terrell and have welcomed opportunities for deepened mutual understanding. Kelly and Terrell carried the loaf of bread to signify […]

Do war tax resisters end up overpaying when the IRS adds interest and penalties?

SourcesOfTheTaxGap

A common argument against war tax resistance goes something like this: War tax resistance is counterproductive: The government will add penalties and interest to whatever you refuse to pay, and when they eventually wring the money out of you, in the end you’ll have given even more financial support to the military than you would have if you’d just paid up in the first place. Today I’ll show you some evidence that I hope will convince you that this is not a very good argument. Lots of people don’t pay the IRS what the agency thinks they should. The IRS has tried to figure out where this missing money is hiding, but their methodology isn’t all that great, and it’s not […]