Dodging the Modern Draft

In the past week, the media has been abuzz about a House bill proposing that women be forced to register for the draft with the Selective Service. (The sponsoring Republicans have actually introduced this bill to object to the inclusion of women in all combat roles.) The discussion seems to be primarily about whether women have the ability to deal with close combat situations and anything else that is demanded in the course of war, or whether men and women should train together in basic training or other military preparations. This line of thinking, to me, means responding with the question, “Do men have the ability to withstand the rigors of war?” The atrocious veteran suicide rates, for one, certainly […]

Flashes from the Past

Uncle-Sam-hand

In going through some old files recently a few tidbits of historical, inspirational, and/or organizing interest surfaced: In the midst of an election year (it feels more like years) a flyer from the early 1970s is a refreshing change from everything we are hearing from the current crop of candidates. Elizabeth Taylor (no, not that one) ran for office in Ann Arbor with her picture taken in front of “Phone Tax is a War Tax” sign, and her featured experience includes “Founder of Ann Arbor War Tax Counselling.” We’ve had a few other war tax resisters run for office with mixed success. From what I can tell from old newspaper stories online, Elizabeth won the County Commissioner’s seat. Perhaps she’ll […]

What is a war tax resistance counselor?

a draft of one potential infographic, called "How war tax resistance counseling can help," with text of a dialogue with possible answers between a counselor and a WTR

One of the ways NWTRCC supports war tax resisters is by providing a list of war tax resistance (WTR) counselors across the country who you can contact. The role of this counselor is a bit different from, but in some ways the same as, other types of counselors, such as school counselors or advisers, or family counselors. You might meet a WTR counselor in person, if convenient for both of you, talk over the phone, or exchange e-mails. Let’s say you’re interested in resisting, but not sure what method of resistance is right for you. A WTR counselor can talk you through your motivations and concerns to help you discern for yourself your best course of action. Is the act […]

Days of War Tax Action 2016 Press Release

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

Days of War Tax Action 2016 PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release: January 15, 2016 Contact: Ruth Benn, Coordinator National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) PO Box 150553, Brooklyn, NY11215 • 800-269-7464 From Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday to Tax Day A Call to Invest in People, Divest From the Pentagon “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom” –Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. denounced the deep connections between United States militarism and the social and racial problems in the United States. He warned of the moral injury created by the war in Vietnam and the impact of war back […]

Collection Is Not a Resistance Failure

More Than a Paycheck newsletter online, originally printed December 1996

I was wondering what war tax resisters were thinking about in 1996, which is as far back as our archived newsletter archives go. (Answer: pretty much the same things in different contexts!) I came across a piece on the effectiveness of war tax resistance from Sallie Marx and Robert Hieger of New York City War Tax Resisters. (Also, as you can see from the screenshot and the link to the piece, we never finished migrating stuff from two websites ago to our previous website format, and now we have archived archives. Maybe the 1990s web will be back in style eventually. It works so well for Craigslist that their charitable fund has sent NWTRCC some very generous unsolicited grants!) Back […]

Martin Sheen backs this war-tax-resisting group

Catholic Worker logo in a woodcut black-and-white art style. Showing a cross behind Jesus in the center, with a light-skinned woman on the left holding a basket and carrying a baby on her back, and a dark-skinned man on the right holding a pickaxe.

Since I joined the war tax resistance movement, I’ve had many opportunities to get to know friends in the Catholic Worker houses around the country, including in New York City, Milwaukee, and Las Vegas. Catholic Worker houses offer a place to sleep, meals, and/or support for those in need, which may include homeless, poor, mentally ill, or refugee persons. Some houses run farms or cottage industries. Recently I learned that the actor Martin Sheen is a Catholic Worker supporter. I’ve been reading Los Angeles Catholic Worker Jeff Dietrich’s book Broken and Shared: Food, Dignity, and the Poor on Los Angeles’ Skid Row, a compilation of Dietrich’s essays in the Catholic Agitator over 40 years. Martin Sheen wrote the foreword. Sheen ate meals […]

Video: Complicity and Collection – Religious Freedom and Tax

jennifer-and-slide

At our November 2015 conference in Las Vegas, University of Nevada – Las Vegas law professor Jennifer Carr spoke to us about her research paper, “Complicity and Collection: Religious Freedom and Tax.” Our audio recording of her talk and the ensuing discussion is now available online, synced up with slides from her PowerPoint. This is a great talk to listen to if you are interested in understanding the potential legal basis for conscientious objection to military taxation, using the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Bill, as well as critiques of this bill. The talk itself is only about 23 minutes, with about 40 minutes of discussion following. Related discussions and material on the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill: Blog: Links […]

Honoring Peg Morton

Peg Morton stands in front of a camera talking at a Eugene Tax Day rally in 2015. A sign reading "WAR IS A racket" is held up behind her to the left.

The NWTRCC network lost one of its stalwart activists and friends on Saturday. Peg Morton of Eugene passed away peacefully at her friend’s home after deciding to end her life through intentional fasting. (You can read this article about her life in Eugene in the Register-Guard’s obituaries section.) I actually first met Peg in 2008 when I was part of a bike ride that stopped in Eugene. We volunteered on a raised bed garden project and she was one of the volunteers. Her energetic personality was so memorable. Three months later I came to Eugene again for my first NWTRCC conference and was delighted to see Peg there, singing some songs with a group to help kick off the weekend. […]

Dive$t from the Pentagon

drawing of melting snowman wearing a black hat that says "Melty" and a blue scarf with "Border Free" printed on it. Text: DIVE$T from the PENTAGON over a simple yellow sun.

by Jason Rawn People are talking more and more about abolishing war and redirecting the mis-invested wealth into renewable energy, healthcare, bioremediation, public transit, etc. We need vast resources to address (embrace?) this climate-change-framed historical moment. As it happens, vast financial wealth has been and is currently being created by short-sighted, omnicidal industries. Perhaps this second vastness could cover the first. Consider the following from Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate: “The US military is by some accounts the largest single consumer of petroleum in the world. In 2011, the Department of Defense released, at minimum, 56.6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere, more than the U.S.-based operations of ExxonMobil and Shell combined. So […]

New Collection Challenges

For years war tax resisters (or potential resisters) have worried about travel abroad. Will my tax debt show up in a passport check when leaving or returning to the U.S.? Despite reassurances that many of us travel abroad and this has not been an issue, the fear lingered in the minds of many. Unfortunately, on December 4, 2015, Congress passed a long-awaited highway funding bill that tucked some IRS-related revenue provisions in the massive document. At least two of those affect war tax resisters — the passport issue and re-institution of private debt collectors for tax debt. For many reasons these are both bad ideas, and in the past have generated widespread controversy. This time the House and Senate let […]

New Website!

In the next few days, NWTRCC will be rolling out our newest website design, a responsive design that can be easily read on devices big and small. We’ve also revamped and updated the site structure and text. We’re so glad to be able to share the results with you soon. Thanks to MuseArts, our consultants, for their technical and design expertise and many hours getting this website going. Thanks also to the NWTRCC volunteers (Peter, David, and Ed) for their knowledge and hard work. And of course, thanks to our coordinator, Ruth, for getting the website project going and all the work that entails. If you subscribe to this blog via e-mail, there may be changes in the e-mail subscription […]

Refusing the Legacy of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has got me thinking about how the militarization of the U.S. extends all the way back to the pre-colonial days of Pilgrims and other white settlers arriving on the shores of this continent. In addition to the land they claimed, they decided they had a claim to the lives of the American Indians who lived here too; whether as slaves, as cheap labor, as sources of exploitable wisdom and goods, or as people to be eradicated to make way for white Christians. To protect this claim, settlers swindled the nations and tribes already living on the land. They used the knowledge of American Indians to survive and then murdered and enslaved them. As Dennis W. Zotigh, author of Do […]