A Worldwide Demand to Cut Military Spending

Global Days of Action on Military Spending

There are a lot of reasons to be discouraged these days. I mean really, that divisive, crude president hosted by a divisive, nationalist prime minister visiting Gandhi’s ashram. It’s just too grotesque for words. So, needing some uplift, I thought about all the grassroots organizing that goes on all the time, around the world, on so many issues. One campaign that war tax resisters have been and should continue to be linked to is the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS). They are gearing up for the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) from April 10 to May 9, 2020, and their nicely redesigned website has excellent background information on military spending and related topics. The Global Campaign […]

Checks and Balances or Endless War

Signs at Climate Strike Sept 2019

Recent events have many questioning whether there remains an overall system of checks and balances in the US. Congress has assumed  responsibility for being a check on the balance of power in relation to war in this country. Previously it has fallen on Congress to declare war as well as allocate funding for war.   In the past year there has been a lot of back and forth about the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. There have been many provisions sought from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Some of those provisions included curtailing arm sales to Saudi Arabia to fuel their war in Yemen, prohibiting US military intervention in Iran, preventing funds for a border […]

Saying YES to Noncooperation

If you take a look around our world, you will witness a myriad of beings who are each ebbing and flowing out of the various ways their lives manifest, some with beauty and grandeur while others with disdain and bitterness. However, if you pay attention even just the slightest, you will experience a diverse collective of individuals and communities who have been struggling to be conscious beings of fierce compassion and just peace; building the beloved community. From the Movement for Black Lives to Extinction Rebellion, CODEPINK to the Baltimore Wisdom Project, or from the Voices of Creative Nonviolence to the Brooklyn Center for Sacred Activism, there are dynamic people causing beautiful trouble through a variety of means but all […]

Looking at Taxes for the Masses

hands holding up signs saying No More War Funding and War is Bankrupting U.S.

I recently spent a full weekend learning about tax preparation. A local organization held a 2 day training to prepare people to learn about tax law in order to assist people in preparing their taxes. The program is oriented towards people on the lower end of the earning scale so that they do not have to pay for tax preparers. The group estimated that they were able to save taxpayers in the area over $2 million in tax preparation fees.  Many of the participants in the training were students at local universities but many were also people who were wanting to obtain knowledge to assist friends and families with their taxes. I appreciated the depth of knowledge that was shared […]

A Freelancer’s Quandary

Freelance worker

Who doesn’t want to protect workers against uncaring, exploitative, profit-hungry employers? But…. there’s always a but….I’m just waking up to the fact that a wave of state laws intending to protect workers may also slam the door on freelance opportunities. The California law AB5 that just took effect pushes employers to categorize more workers as W-2 employees. Freelancers are scrambling, and articles indicate that many have lost good, paying work. Now I see a similar law is proposed in New York, where I live. There’s a Freelancers New York campaign against it, and their website announces, “Freelancers in New York watched in horror as AB5 passed hastily in California, destroying the livelihoods of thousands of independent contractors in one vague, […]

Days of Actions and Lessons Learned

  Code Pink, Veterans for Peace and other national groups have called for a Day of Action on January 25th to bring awareness to the situation in Iran and to empower people to prevent an intensified war with Iran. Currently there is a “cold war” happening in Iran with severe economic sanctions that are affecting everyday people. It is like Yogi Berra said, “It’s like deja vu all over again.” Economic sanctions were imposed upon neighboring Iraq prior to the Gulf War campaign in 1990. The severity of the sanctions increased with time, just as they have with Iran. Another similarity is that sanctions did not lift even if the governments were in compliance with the requests made of them. […]

“I’m not sure I can tell the difference in Iraq and Iran”

Yellow button with words "No to War & Racism- HANDS OFF IRAN- Neighbors for Peace. org

As we ready our current blog post my thoughts turn to my own experience in the Middle East just as the Trump administration has launched new rumors of impending endless war in the region. In an extrajudicial drone missile strike Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani was killed. Soleimani (an Iranian) was assassinated at Baghdad International Airport on Iraqi soil without permission of Iraq where the US had been engaged in active warfare for decades. The US escalation comes after Trump walking away from Nuclear negotiations and imposing strict economic sanctions. Iran has now threatened revenge as the US Army deploys an estimated 3,000 additional troops in the 82nd Airborne brigade to the area. The US has ordered all Americans to […]

Yuletide Express carries a universal message of world peace

With  the backdrop of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and seemingly endless conflicts on the horizon, a local musician created an opportunity for people to come together for the holiday season. Celia’s Yuletide Express was formed 15 years ago to share joy and remember the deepest longings of humans in the long nights of winter. Over the years, the numerous sing a longs have brought together hundreds of people at numerous venues. The  Express stops range from assisted living facilities, coffee houses, high schools, psychiatric centers, to actual Metro train stops.  All are welcome to take part.  The age ranges from young ones to  elders singing along.and dancing. It can be magical in what singing can bring about in the […]

Opposing Trident with Faslane Peace Camp: 37 Years of Resistance

the cover of Faslane Peace Camp's 2000 publication, Faslania, featuring a spiral black and white design with Celtic designs and a peace sign in the middle

Recently I traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland to represent NWTRCC at the International Conference for War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns, hosted by Conscience: Taxes for Peace Not War. I’m working on a full conference report, but in the meantime, I wanted to highlight the longtime Scottish resistance campaign against the Trident nuclear submarine. ​A highlight of the weekend was the Sunday bus trip to HMNB Clyde, the military base at which the UK’s Trident-missile armed nuclear submarines are located. The Faslane Peace Camp has been resisting these nuclear weapons since 1982. One of the conference attendees, Willemien, has been living and resisting at Faslane for two years. ​ Faslane is a beautiful little area along the shores of Gare […]

Radical History Quiz

In remembrance of Larry Gara As many readers know, we date the “modern war tax resistance movement” to World War II, when hundreds of amazing people refused to participate with their bodies and/or their taxes. These resisters tended to be committed pacifists, many of them already involved with War Resisters League or the Fellowship of Reconciliation or members of peace churches, such as the Society of Friends. Larry Gara was one of them. I knew and worked with him during my time on staff at the War Resisters League and was sad to learn of his death at age 97 on November 23. After the war years he became a history professor and retired in 2002 from 40 years of […]

Sing a New Song for the Climate in the Streets this Black Friday and Beyond

young people marching with signs, banners and smiles

Friday the 29th of November Extinction Rebellion groups internationally will be doing direct actions to wake us all up to the climate crisis and on Friday the 6th of December Sunrise groups will be striking for the climate across the country. Look for actions both of these days near you. Extinction Rebellion was founded a year ago in Great Britain and has become an international organization with over 485 groups throughout the world.  They are advocating nonviolent direct action to try to save our planet. They believe that if they can get 3% of the people to join them in the streets that more will be convinced to join and that the climate crisis will have a chance to be mitigated.  Extinction Rebellion US […]

Georgia on My Mind

Close the School of the Americas banner with woman and man on both sides

A rare event occurred in my life that I found myself traveling to Georgia for two important events in peacemaking recently. The first event was for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 trial in Brunswick and the second was the 30th Anniversary Commemorative Gathering at Fort Benning with the School of the Americas Watch. Both events were heavily populated with War Tax Resisters as well as potential War Tax Resisters.  The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 (KBP7) action took place in the home of long time War Tax Resister (WTR) Robert Randall who helped organize many of the events around the trial as well as bringing attention to the Trident nuclear weapons for many decades. Like many WTRs, he had focused on […]