War Tax Resistance Speakers’ Bureau
Is your group curious about war tax resistance, brainstorming about antiwar
actions, or looking for an inspiring speaker on nonviolent resistance to
Is your class studying nonviolent action, civil disobedience, conscientious
objection, war resistance, Thoreau?
Consider a speaker from our list below!
You will find people who are deeply involved in peace and justice issues and
organizing and have taken action that challenges listeners to consider how
they might end their complicity with war and killing.
We have speakers in many regions of the country. If travel, meals, or over
night stays are involved, the host group should cover those expenses and offer
housing. If an honorarium is provided, it would be helpful if a portion is
However, this is up to each speaker. There are a number of resources available
to reduce costs of events with speakers. Both Food Not Bombs and
couchsurfing.org have been helpful in the past with food and lodging.
Please contact the speakers directly about arrangements for
an engagement. Please let them know you are contacting them as part of the
War Tax Resistance Speakers Bureau.
- Kathy Kelly (Chicago, Ill.) helped initiate the Voices in
the Wilderness, a campaign to end the UN/US sanctions against Iraq. For bringing “medicine and toys” to Iraq in open
violation of the UN/US sanctions, she and other campaign members were notified of a proposed
$163,000 penalty for the organization, threatened with 12 years in prison,
and eventually fined $20,000, a sum which they’ve refused to pay. Read more
- Randy Kehler (Colrain, Mass.) has been actively engaged
for the past 40 years in research, writing, organizing, and advocacy
regarding a range of public policy issues including energy and land reform,
electoral democracy, and nuclear disarmament. Read more
David Waters (Birmingham,
Ala.) was born in Alabama in 1946; grew up
in six deep south states; was in the Army Special Forces during the Vietnam
War. He became a war tax resister after the invasion of Iraq.
(Greensboro, N.C.) started resisting
in 1991 during the outbreak of the first Gulf War when he heard a
WTR person speaking of their
resistance on community radio in Portland, Oregon.
Ruth Benn (Brooklyn,
N.Y.) is the Coordinator of the National
War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, and is a co-editor of War
Tax Resistance: A Guide to Withholding Your Support from the Military.
She has been a war tax resister since the early 1980s.
Karl Meyer (Nashville,
Tenn.) is one of our country’s most
knowledgeable counselors and practitioners of strategies and methods for
maximizing war tax refusal, while minimizing negative consequences, such as
job loss, seizure of assets, or criminal prosecution.
Bill Ramsey (Asheville, NC)
staffs the Conscience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Fund which holds resisted taxes of war tax refusers and invests them in community economic development. The interest earned on these funds is given away to peace, social justice and direct service project each April 15.
Clare Hanrahan (Asheville,
N.C.), a conscientious objector to
paying for war, has been speaking out for decades for peace, human rights and
global & environmental justice.
Pat & John Schwiebert (Portland,
Ore.) have been refusing to pay some or all
of their Federal Tax in protest against military violence for more than 30
years. Read more
Geov Parrish (Seattle,
Wash.) has been a conscientious objector
to military taxation for over 30 years, and spent over a decade as the
Director of the Nonviolent Action Community of Cascadia.
Mike Butler (Albuquerque,
N.M.) first became aware of war tax
resistance right after 9/11 when he realized that taxes were not going
towards helping people but rather towards funding illegal war.
Lincoln Rice (Milwaukee,
Wis.), a member of the Catholic Worker,
has been a war tax resister since 1998 and participated in a number of
actions at the Milwaukee IRS office on tax day that have resulted in his
arrest. Read more
Larry Rosenwald (Wellesley,
Mass.) is a member of New England War
Tax Resistance. He teaches at Wellesley College, and his courses include one
on Thoreau. Read more
Ed Hedemann (Brooklyn,
N.Y.), a war tax resister since 1970, is
the author of War Tax Resistance: A Guide to Withholding Your Support
from the Military and, in 1982, was a founder of
Robert Randall (Brunswick,
Ga.) became a Christian pacifist in the late
1960s while still in high school. “In those days,” he says, “a young person
approaching the age of 18 simply had to think about whether or not to kill.”