Tax Day Reports 2016

Divest from the Pentagon, Invest in People

War tax resisters and campaigners against high military spending participated in rallies, vigils, redirection ceremonies and organized leafleting and penny polls around tax day 2016. In addition, actions took place around the world for the Global Campaign on Military Spending.

See the links under our media menu for 2016 tax season articles and recorded interviews and podcasts.

Jump to photos and reports from: San Diego, Cal; Portland, Ore; Chicago, Ill; Eugene, Ore.Colorado Springs; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Tucson, Ariz.; Asheville, N.C.; Portland, Maine; Berkeley, Cal.; and South Bend, Ind.

San Diego, California

Anne Barron reports: “Our 1st annual war tax redirection in San Diego! So honored to turn my war $ to peace work. Along with the Southern California War Tax Alternative Fund, we redirected $8,200 from war to these amazing people: Peace Resource Center, tiny shelters/Amikas, Food Not Bombs, Overpass Light Brigade, UHURU, and alternatives to violence. We got word that the police were on their way to our war tax ceremony in front of the spiffy new downtown library. Apparently they came 2 ‘check’ our tiny shelter! Why? Because these simple solutions by communities 4 the community threatens their power? So we quickly moved the controversial shelter to safety down the sidewalk.”  The press conference was at noon on Friday, April 15. War tax resisters and peace activists caught the attention of commuters with the Overpass Light Brigade on the evening of April 15.

Click on photos below to enlarge.

ten people pose for the camera at the Southern California war tax redirection ceremony and press conference in San Diego

Southern California war tax redirection ceremony and press conference in San Diego.

a small house-on-wheels parked in front of the library

The police took a special interest in the tiny shelter.

eight people pose behind signs reading "no taxes 4 war"

Preparation for the evening display. Light brigade photos by John Nicksic. Copy and paste the link below to see more light brigade photos on Facebook,

the "no taxes 4 war" illuminated letters visible on an interstate five highway overpass

In place on the Clairemont Dr. Bridge over l-5, April 15.

Portland, Oregon

Turn the U.S. War Budget Upside Down!

Turn the U.S. War Budget
Upside Down!

John Grueschow, the amazing organizer! Amazing organizer John Grueschow (left) and a group of us held signs on tax day rush hour on several bridges in Portland (it wasn’t raining!).  Most responses were really positive with friendly waves and thumbs up, but I did see a handful of people with negative responses—I was holding a sign that said “Peace Not War”.  I’m not sure how this message could have such a strong negative reaction from people, but I guess they weren’t from Portland!
Pam Allee and Ann Huntwork at the redirection ceremony.

Our redirection program was another success, giving away over $6,000 to 6 different local groups, including Books to Prisoners, Food Not Bombs, and the Returning Vets Project.

Left, Pam Allee and Ann Huntwork at the redirection ceremony.

—Report and photos by Kima Garrison

Chicago, Illinois

Brad Lyttle at the microphone with a War Resisters League sign nearby

Brad Lyttle speaking at the tax day event in Chicago. Photo by Charles Paidock.

Chicago Area War Resisters Support Group, the Hyde Park Center for Nonviolent Action, Catholic Worker center Su Casa, UUSJ Peace Task Force, and WRL Chicago Chapter sponsored a “Pay No War Tax Demonstration” on Monday, April 18th, at Federal Plaza / Post Office in downtown Chicago. WRL Chicago’s Charles Paidock reported that the open microphone resonated across the plaza while 10-12 people distributed pie chart flyers vs. war tax to people entering US Post Office to mail returns.

“I figure IRS is going to wonder why there was a decline in tax returns from Chicago,” says Charles.

In addition, Rosalie Riegle spoke in a forum at the Third Unitarian Church in Chicago on April 17, along with a slide show with resources as well as photos of storied tax resisters. She says, “I used the pie chart as a handout. There were several good questions and an interesting discussion, with one member of the audience remembering Karl Meyer‘s work on tax resistance when he was in Chicago.”

Eugene, Oregon

seven members of the Raging Grannies in costume singing outdoors with protest signs nearby

Raging Grannies sing at the Eugene rally.

On Friday, April 15th, war tax resisters, Raging Grannies, members of the Community Alliance of Lane County, and friends gathered at the downtown post office for a rally, penny poll, and announcement of war tax redirection. Sue Barnhart announced the redirection of tax dollars to groups including, Stand for Children, the local chapter of the NAACP, and Occupy Medical.

All photos by Jain Elliot. See her photo album from the event, shared on NWTRCC‘s Facebook group page.

Sue Barnhart speaking into a microphone

Sue Barnhart announces redirections.

Eric Richardson accepts the donation for the local N.A.A.C.P.

Eric Richardson accepts the donation for the local NAACP.

an exhibit of photos from the life of Peg Morton

Longtime Eugene activist and war tax resister Peg Morton was remembered with this collage.

photo of train passing through intersection while carrying tracked vehicles

During the rally, a train went by down the block carrying car after car of military equipment.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

people with signs: “I'm not buying it”, “Penny Poll: Vote for your children's future”

Photo by Donna Johnson.

Members of the Bijou Community were out at the post office in Colorado Springs on April 15.

We’ll await the results of the penny poll from residents of this heavily militarized area, which includes United States Air Force Academy, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases, and
Fort Carson Army Base.

Washington, D.C.

Carol Coney flashes peace sign next to banner reading “your tax dollars arm the world”

Photo by Carol Moore.

Carol Coney (left) displays her banner at IRS headquarters on April 15. She and other war tax resisters were in D.C. for the Democracy Spring actions to “get money out of politics.” We held a vigil at the IRS before joining up with a rally for D.C. statehood and a march by that group to the Capitol Building where Democracy Spring was holding a rally followed by a sit-in on the Capitol steps.

five activists hold banners and signs at the I.R.S. headquarters war tax resisters holding banner march alongside D.C. statehood advocates
Carol C. was joined by Carol Moore, Brian Barrett, Candy, Ronnie Fellerath, and Ruth Benn behind the camera.

New York City

The tax day protest (sponsored by NYC War Resisters League) in front of the Manhattan IRS included a picket line, leafleting with WRL pie charts, Granny Peace Brigade singalong, a NYC People’s Life Fund redirection ceremony of tax resisted money, and rapping with The Peace Poets‘ Luke Nephew.

activists hold banner with a federal budget pie chart labeled “where your income tax dollars really go” two protesters with signs: “What if they gave a war and nobody paid? I won't pay!” and “Fund the future of the 99%, not the wars of the 1%!” activist hands a War Resisters League federal budget pie chart to a passer-by
person holds War Resisters League federal budget pie chart in foreground while redirection ceremony is taking place in the background an array of protesters with their signs war tax protesters with their signs, including “I am not paying for war,” and “War: Not with my money. I refuse to pay.”
Top row: Banners and signs and expert leafleting by Emma, who handed out piles of pie charts.
Bottom row: NYC People’s Life Fund gave out their 2016 redirection grants to the New Sanctuary Coalition, BK Rot, Not an Alternative, and The Peace Poets. Photos by Ed Hedemann.

Tucson, Arizona

man holding signs reading “tax dollars for health care not missiles” and “jobs for peace not war” in front of a sign reading “U.S.A.F. plant #44, operated by Raytheon”Tax dollars are needed for health care and education, not more weapons and war!! Nuclear Resisterwoman holding signs reading “not with our tax dollars” and “enough cruise missiles! how about mass transit?” co-coordinator Jack Cohen-Joppa (left) stood outside Raytheon’s missile factory in Tucson on Tax Day, where the war profiteer makes Star Wars “kill vehicles”, Mavericks, AMRAAMs, microwave crowd control beams, drones, cluster bombs, cruise missiles and many more instruments of death. Felice (right) exhibits some more radical ideas, like using tax dollars for mass transit instead of missiles!

Photos courtesy of Nuclear Resister.

Asheville, North Carolina

a large banner depicting the 2016 federal budget as a pie chart from the New South Network of War Resisters people mill about a literature table in a public plaza some of the literature arrayed on the literature table
Hanging out in Asheville on a beautiful tax day. Photos by Clare Hanrahan.

Berkeley, California

Receiving a People's Life Fund grant for Veteran Artists to #popthebubble — attending People's Life Fund — 2016 Granting Ceremony at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.

NCPLF organizer Susan Quinlan awards a grant to Stephen Funk for Veteran Artists.

Northern California People’s Life Fund granted $20,000 in resisted war taxes to local community organizations doing peace and social justice work at a potluck and celebration on April 19. Grants were given to Art Forces,
BAYAN-USA, Berkeley Food Pantry, Catalyst Project, East Bay Community Land Trust, East Point Peace Academy, Fellowship of Reconciliation Peace Presence, Indigenous People’s Day Committee, Lower Bottom Playaz, Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy, People’s Community Medics, Prison Radio, The Creators Gift 137, Tri-Valley CAREs, Veteran Artists, and Young Workers United. The 2016 Granting Ceremony was held at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.

Maine — Portland and elsewhere

Read the full report from Tax Day in Maine

Maine tax day events 2016Maine penny poll results

The rally at Portland’s Congress Square Park on April 19, the last day to final in Maine due to a holiday, got coverage on the Maine National Public Radio website, “Maine Activists Protest Spending on U.S. Nuclear Overhaul,” and on WCHS Channel 6, “Mainers Protest Military Spending on Tax Day.”

South Bend, Indianapeople with protest signs including “redirect war taxes,” “less war tax,” and “taxes for peace not war”

two people holding signs on the sidewalk: “Don't use my tax money for killing” and “Divest from the Pentagon; invest in people.”On a warm, sunny afternoon, war tax resisters and supporters displayed their messages on signs near the South Bend Federal Building on tax day. The five humans had help from surrogate sign holders (right).

Photos by Ellyn Stecker.

Was there a Tax Day action in your community? Email your report, with or without photos, to NWTRCC.