Spanish Tax Resisters Take Collective Action: An Interview with Enric Duran

On October 1, 2014, I had a Skype chat with Enric Duran, an extremely active organizer in the Spanish tax resistance and collective economy movements. Enric is a key organizer of Derecho de Rebelión (Right of Rebellion), a movement about which David Gross has reported to us before. Derecho de Rebelión arose in response to the Spanish government’s prioritizing of foreign debt over the provision of public services. The movement has created Offices of Economic Disobedience in cities around Spain, which  have open hours and various activities to provide advice and encouragement to people considering tax resistance. (You can read David’s article on that movement here. If you read Catalan or Spanish, check out the Manual of Economic Disobedience on […]

Supporting Each Other

by Peg Morton, Eugene, Oregon It is a joy to discover that someone I have admired for a long time is a war tax resister. This came to my attention through a mailing from the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund, which is also supported by the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. Through the Fund, we can learn from, be inspired by, as well as hopefully be helpful to resisters who are caught in the tangled web of IRS debt. I am offering a vignette about one of these resisters and hope that other vignettes will be forthcoming. John Lindsay-Poland experienced an IRS levy with penalties and interest of over $4,000. He applied to the Penalty Fund, which has been helping […]

How Did Gandhi Win?

This article was originally published on Waging Nonviolence and appears here courtesy of a Creative Commons license. by Mark Engler and Paul Engler History remembers Mohandas Gandhi’s Salt March as one of the great episodes of resistance in the past century and as a campaign which struck a decisive blow against British imperialism. In the early morning of March 12, 1930, Gandhi and a trained cadre of 78 followers from his ashram began a march of more than 200 miles to the sea. Three and a half weeks later, on April 5, surrounded by a crowd of thousands, Gandhi waded into the edge of the ocean, approached an area on the mud flats where evaporating water left a thick layer […]

Podcast #2: War Resistance Beyond the Rally

Hear from the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee and executive directors from two of its affiliates, Maria Santelli from the Center on Con­science and War and Jack Payden-Travers from the Nation­al Cam­paign for a Peace Tax Fund. Panelists discuss their ap­proaches to war resis­tance that go be­yond the anti­war march and rally to indi­vidual and col­lective ac­tions to re­sist war. Listen to War Resistance Beyond the Rally. Subscribe to the podcast feed by adding http://feeds.feedburner.com/WarTaxTalkPodcast to your RSS reader. We hope to get onto iTunes and/or other podcast syndication sites soon. Send suggestions for podcast/Google Hangout topics or promotion ideas to wartaxresister at nwtrcc dot org. Listen to other audio interviews with war tax resisters.

Resisting Debt Collectively

Our friends at Strike Debt (who released the Debt Resisters Operations Manual that has a whole chapter on tax resistance) are promoting a new effort called Debt Collective, coming off of their recent Rolling Jubilee forgiveness of $4 million in student loan debt from Corinthian Colleges. Debt Collective is a way for debtors to organize together, and it is not limited to student debt, but also includes credit cards, mortgages, and other types of debt: The goal of the Debt Collective is to create a platform by debtors and for debtors for organization, advocacy, and resistance. Organizing collectively offers many possibilities for building power against creditors: As we build membership, we can organize debtors into groups based on region, type […]

Marching Into the Future 2

I admit to having been somewhat ambivalent about the climate march in advance, and truthfully, I remain somewhat ambivalent after. Was this the launch of a united and more powerful demand for changing the way things are and protecting the earth, or were we just numbers in the publicity for some of the big groups behind this march? Still, I was surrounded by lots of energy and hope; lots of people with lots of creative signs, banners, artworks, costumes, displays; lots of children seriously worried about their future; lots of grandparents seriously worried about the future for those children; and lots of attention to the issues of indigenous people, islanders, and low income communities who have been and will be […]

Marching Into the Future

I was in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state in August. How lucky to be able to take a hike in the wilderness and leave behind the rush of daily life in New York City and the news of endless war and crisis after crisis somewhere in the world. And yet when I asked a local about swimming in the wilderness lake he noted that the water was not as clear as it should be at that time of year. The glaciers are melting and more silt is coming into the lake than usual. The climate crisis crept into my thoughts during my “get away from it all” experience. The swim was great anyway. This Sunday, September 21, I’ll be […]

Give Your Taxes to the Solidarity Economy

by David M. Gross In mid-April, people across the United States struggle to fill out their federal income tax returns. This shared calamity has created something of an inverted holiday season — with grumbling about paperwork and frustration towards government bureaucracy replacing the “peace on earth, goodwill to men” of the Yuletide. But at a church in Berkeley, California, this past April, people were handing over their taxes with a smile. They were members of the group Northern California War Tax Resistance, and they were smiling because their checks — averaging more than $1,000 apiece — were not made out to the federal government, but to twenty-seven local groups including the Bay Area Community Land Trust, the Berkeley Food Pantry, the Biketopia Community Workshop, Oakland Sustaining […]

An Ethic for the 21st Century

by Robert Randall, with feedback from many folks   Let us all agree on this one simple thing: It is not OK to kill people. It is not OK to kill people because you don’t like them. It is not OK to kill people because they don’t like you. It is not OK to kill people because they are different from you. It is not OK to kill people because of what they believe. Or because of what they don’t believe. Or because they believe differently than you do. It is not OK to kill people because they are wrong. It is not OK to kill people because of who or what they are. It is not OK to kill […]

Resistance, Redirection, and Revolution: Tabling at the Seattle Anarchist Bookfair

Tabling at the Seattle Anarchist Bookfair this weekend, I realized again that anti-war activism is only part of the picture in modern war tax resistance. With so many problems in the world, with so much reporting and news from the proliferation of modern media sources online, it’s hard to know where to focus. Not only that, but it may not be in our best interest to focus too narrowly. Because anarchists acknowledge the interconnectedness of economic, social, and military issues with the functions of capitalism and the state. I usually don’t have to explain the concept of war tax resistance in much depth. They are usually supportive, if not always personally interested. I don’t get pushback on the level that […]

Ferguson, Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine…

It has been an exhausting few weeks in world events. Every day I look at Twitter and Facebook and there is always something new and discouraging. From the astonishingly violent Israeli attacks on Gaza to the police violence in Ferguson, from the secessionist fighting in Ukraine to the advance of ISIS in Iraq, I’m more than a little worn out by the news. National Priorities Project has recently reported that the US is on track to spend a total of $1.5 trillion on Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and the end of the 2014 fiscal year, while the ramping up of involvement in Iraq bodes poorly for reductions in war spending. But things aren’t all bad on publicity about military […]

Real Risks

Yesterday on Facebook, friend and fellow activist Sam Diener shared an article out of Afghanistan with me, “Afghan Taliban Reportedly Kill 20 Civilians Over ‘War Tax’.” The short article sourced from Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty/Radio Free Afghanistan reported: An Afghan official said Taliban militants have killed 20 civilians who refused to pay them “war tax” in northern Kunduz Province. Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini said on August 11 that the Taliban also shot and wounded 10 others over their refusal to pay the militant group. I am immediately reminded of what minimal risks I face (and most of us in the U.S.) with my own war tax resistance. I hope I would be strong enough to say no […]