Don’t Lament: Resist and Redirect in 2017

Anti-Trump rally

This piece originally appeared in the December 2016 / January 2017 issue of NWTRCC’s bimonthly newsletter, More Than a Paycheck: Refusing to Pay for War. Subscribe to our e-list to receive this newsletter in your inbox! Don’t Lament: Resist and Redirect By Ruth Benn Some months ago a review copy of a book by one of NWTRCC’s founders, Bill Durland, arrived in the office. Since it’s not about war tax resistance, I poked into it but hadn’t gotten to reading it for review. Then the book’s title caught my eye recently, The Demise of American Democracy: Explaining the Crisis and What To Do About It. It was published last spring during an election campaign that presumably only strengthened Durland’s premise: […]

South Korea to the U.S. — Sharing Tactics

The NWTRCC office tends to be a bit quiet at this time of year, but the phone rang early on a recent Friday morning, and a woman’s accented voice explained that some South Korean activists would like to visit the office to learn more about the work of National War Tax Resistance. I was thinking “next week” when she said, how about today? Ed Hedemann agreed to handle the meeting, and I listened in at times. Our three visitors were in the U.S. representing the Peace Delegation of the newly formed People’s Democracy Party (PDP) in South Korea. They turned up carrying their signs from a vigil at the U.N. building where they were protesting Ban Ki-moon, who apparently has […]

Tax resistance in the age of Trump

Over the past month, I’ve been ruminating on the possibilities of war tax resistance in a Trump presidency. At first I was concerned: for folks who are concerned about a diminishing tax base and slashed social services, the idea of further defunding the government might seem ill-timed, at best. However, many people who are not yet war tax resisters are very very motivated by the idea of resisting Trump and his administration’s policies and appointees. And war tax resisters certainly have a lot to question or to be concerned about when it comes to Trump’s foreign policy. Recently, Time magazine published an article from journalist Mark Weston, proposing that people who voted for Hillary Clinton should threaten a federal tax […]

Iraq Tribunal holds the weight of war, lifts voices for truth

Sam Koplinka-Loehr, NWTRCC Field Organizer, testified at the Iraq Tribunal on Friday, December 2nd about the costs of the war. Their testimony is below.

By Sam Koplinka-Loehr (content warning: suicide)   Wow. I am still reeling from being at the People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War last Friday, December 2nd in Washington, DC. The Tribunal focused on the lies and costs of the Iraq War. At the end of the day of testimony, I was inspired and heartbroken. My mind raced, and I had a headache. I felt both energized and tired to my core. Upon walking into the courtroom Friday morning, the love and community spirit was palpable. I was greeted with open arms by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers with Popular Resistance, a great source for movement news. I had just joined the two of them on air a few days earlier […]

Join the NWTRCC network at the Iraq Tribunal

The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War - December 1-2, 2016 - Washington DC - After 15 years of costly war based on lies, it's time for truth and accountability [with picture of a woman holding scales superimposed over the silhouette of Iraq's borders]

The People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War is taking place tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday, December 1 and 2. Tune in 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM Eastern time, December 1 and 2, through the Iraq Tribunal page , or watch directly on TheRealNews. Participate in the conversation via the Facebook page and on Twitter by following @IraqTribunal and using the hashtag #IraqTribunal. More about the tribunal: Organized by CODEPINK and supported by dozens of other groups, the tribunal is an opportunity to gather a great deal of testimony and experience in one place. CODEPINK says: After 14 years of costly war based on lies, it’s time for truth and accountability. The People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War will unify the global […]

Thanksgiving, Standing Rock, and war tax resistance

A group of about 15 people standing with a paper banner reading "War Tax Resisters: We Stand with Standing Rock #NoDAPL #waterislife"

Given what’s going on at Standing Rock, last year’s blog post on resisting militarism and colonialism at Thanksgiving seems as timely as ever. I know gratitude is a feeling that keeps our movements going, as we are grateful for each other. Yet the “story of Thanksgiving” helps cover up the lack of gratitude – really, the violence – that followed. Here’s last year’s reflections on Thanksgiving, with a few updates. Post by Erica *** 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 […]

Coming together to reach out: November 2016 NWTRCC gathering

From November 4 to 6, about 20 NWTRCC network members came together at the Sustainable Living Center (SLC) in North Florida to take stock of where war tax resisters are at, get to know our new field organizer Sam Koplinka-Loehr, learn about the militarization of the southern US, and enjoy some community time around a bonfire. We were joined during different sessions by Florida friends, most of whom were involved with the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice. Our gathering weekend fell just before the election. That was a time when we could sit on John X and Martina Linnehan’s porch and relax…. And despite the trepidation with which we head toward a new administration, we can think about all […]

Scattered thoughts on militarism under Trump

1/2 of your income tax dollar buys war - Don't like what you see? Find out what you can do about it - nwtrcc.org - 800-249-7464

This past weekend at our war tax resistance gathering in rural Florida, we had a discussion about post-election organizing. Before I knew it, emotions were rising about whether people should vote Clinton or third party, whether Clinton was better than Trump, and other such topics. These topics have set anti-war folks against each other throughout the election season. We refocused, knowing that the discussion was not going to be productive, by pointing out that no matter who was elected, we were going to have some work to do on militarism. The question is – how should that work be done? And we didn’t get very far in the limited time we had. I quite frankly did not believe that Trump […]

The military is at Standing Rock again

A man, "Happi" American Horse, is shown standing atop the shovel of an excavator in a field. People and cars in the background.

Many of our readers have been following the water protectors’ struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL, or “the Black Snake”), which is being built on Standing Rock Sioux treaty lands. Thousands of people are on the ground in several resistance camps. The local Morton County police department has brought in reinforcements from other police departments as far away as Minneapolis. The combined police forces are cracking down on water protectors through surveillance (including drones), roadblocks, violent confrontations, dismantling campsites, and hundreds of arrests. They have employed heavy weaponry and armor, including LRADs (sound cannons), MRAPs (tank-like armored vehicles), riot gear, and sniper rifles. The police get this equipment from the 1033 program, which we have written about elsewhere on […]

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…

A protest in front of the Reichstag - two people hold a banner reading "BAN URANIUM WEAPONS" in front of a scattered group of about 40 people.

by Cathy Deppe “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” – is a favorite Robert Frost line I mused over on my first trip to Berlin for the International Peace Bureau (IPB) World Peace Conference.   Germany was readying for Unity Day October 3 – a national holiday celebrating the day “the wall” came down and the people of Germany were once again united.   I could hardly wait to take my first walk in this bustling, rebuilt city, east through the Tiergarten to the famous Brandenburg Gate that anchored the Berlin Wall for 27 years.   At first obscured from sight by an immense Ferris wheel set up for Unity Day festivities, the Gate soon came into spectacular view as a […]

Our Movements Are Connected!

The New England WTR Gathering, October 14-16 The Gathering was powerful. I drove there and back with Ruth Benn, the NWTRCC Coordinator, and we had a great conversation about the history of war tax resistance in the car ride. The Agape Community in Ware, Massachusetts, generously opened their space for us all to meet, including finding beds for 15 of us over the course of the weekend. Friday evening and Sunday morning sessions at Agape were focused on war tax resistance stories and organizing. The theme of the weekend was how to recognize the intersections between our movements and join together in resistance to the oppressive system. The highlight was a Saturday program in Amherst, when Joanne Sheehan (WRL New […]

Reaching across the border

white sign with skull and crossbones and barbed wire, saying in black and red text: "BORDER MILITARIZATION KILLS"

I’m happy to report that our outreach at the SOAW border convergence at ambos Nogales (both Nogales, on the US and Mexico sides) went very well! NWTRCC network members, including myself, Anne Barron, Rachel Soltis, and Coleman Smith, were present at each activity throughout the weekend, including the vigil at the Eloy Detention Center (where undocumented immigrants are imprisoned awaiting deportation or release into the US), the march to the border on Saturday, the tabling and workshops, and the Sunday activities. At the border on Saturday morning I met Paula Kahn from CODEPINK who is promoting a People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War in December. She asked NWTRCC to be a part of this effort. I’ve proposed a potential endorsement and […]