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"

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. SOAW says, Our goal is to ·    highlight US intervention in Latin America as one of the root causes of migration ·    stage protests, cultural events, and nonviolent direct action against racism, xenophobia […]

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 […]

Mutual aid and war tax resistance

War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund brochure cover with a row of rifles turning into flowers, and the first paragraph: ""The fund provides a process of mutual support through which war tax resisters and their supporters can distribute financial assistance to war tax resisters whose taxes are collected and for whom the collection of penalties and interest is a burden..."

One of the ways war tax resisters support each other is through the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund (WTRPF). This fund was founded in 1982 by the North Manchester, Indiana chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and later became a separate organization. Its purpose is to provide mutual aid for war tax resisters who have been collected on by the IRS. WTRPF also makes war tax resistance possible for more people: [The founders] found that IRS interest and penalties kept many people from continuing their war tax resistance, and prevented many more from even considering such a witness. The founders decided to invite sympathetic people to form a broad base that would help sustain and suppport war tax resisters. They […]

Podcast #5: War Tax Resisters Abroad

war-tax-talk-podcast-logo

In Episode Number 5, we hear from two war tax resisters who have recently traveled overseas to work with other war resisters and learn more about the real impacts of US warmongering. Jason Rawn has traveled to Asia twice in the past year, visiting Okinawa in Japan and Jeju Island in Korea to organize with local resisters against US military bases. We’ll cover some of the history around Okinawa and Jeju Island, and interview Jason Rawn about his experiences. Dana Visalli had planned a trip to Syria, but the Syrian government denied his visa. Instead, he spent time in Lebanon with Syrian refugees, and also learned about the history and creation of the nation we call Syria. He reads two […]

Resisting in Dreamland

Help the Homeless

Home ownership might seem like a mundane topic while confronted with the latest news headlines, but most of us in war tax resistance see life choices as inextricably linked to global issues, so let’s see where this goes. I saw the movie The Big Short a while ago. I totally don’t understand what those guys where buying and selling or how you can make money off debt, but clearly it worked for some and didn’t for others. Mostly what it made me think about, and what the whole housing crisis of a few years ago made me think about, is this drive to want to own a home. It’s so linked to the American Dream that people don’t always think […]

Job opening at NWTRCC; new books by war tax resisters

activists holding a black umbrella with a peace sign on it, a blue sign with red letters saying "Honk for peace," and a banner reading "Don't like war? Then don't pay for it! Your taxes arm the world"

First and foremost, we have just listed our new Field Organizer/Outreach Consultant position on Idealist, New York Craigslist, and our website! We’re looking to build more power among our network affiliates and individual WTRs around the country. This is a temporary position with flexible hours. See the listings for details and application procedures. War tax resister Clare Hanrahan has recently released her memoir, The Half-Life of a Free Radical: Growing Up Irish Catholic in Jim Crow Memphis. On her website, she mentions when her family was counted for the 1960 Census: In the photo Mama is seated, pen in hand, filling out the form. Daddy stands behind her with his ever-present Roi Tan cigar in the hand that rests on […]