Trump’s wall plans are built on existing border militarization

an image of the rusty brown border fence at Nogales, Sonora/Arizona, seen from the Mexican side

October 2016: I’m crossing the border to Nogales, Arizona, US by foot, returning from a brief visit to Nogales in Sonora, Mexico, following the SOAW Border Convergence. A tall rusty steel border fence, maybe 20-25 feet tall, lines the border in both directions as far as I can see, dotted occasionally by even taller surveillance towers. While my entry to Mexico was a matter of walking in, I stand in a line for 45 minutes to re-enter the US. We’re waiting to present our passports, which are scanned and examined closely, get questioned by Border Patrol agents, and perhaps be sniffed by large Border Patrol dogs. I’m white and a US citizen, so I pass through easily, but I wonder […]

Musings on Obstructing a Public Way, War Tax Resistance, and More

Why Don’t We Do It In the Road? Musings on Obstructing a Public Way, War Tax Resistance, War Profiteering, Divestment, Livelihood, and Destroying Hundreds of Targets at a Rate of Up to Ten Per Minute by Jason Rawn I was involved in an organized civil resistance action last June 18 at shipbuilders Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The 12 of us, now called the “Zumwalt 12,” sat in the road blocking traffic just outside BIW for ten minutes at the “christening” of the second of 3 super-high-tech Zumwalt-class stealth destroyers. The original intention was to build 32 of these unproven warships “capable of destroying hundreds of targets at the rate of up to ten per minute[!],” but due to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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"

War tax resisters will be at the Border Convergence with leaflets, literature table, and a workshop. Please help us cover the costs for travel and fees. Donations of any size are much appreciated! 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. […]

End War, End Poverty, Save the Earth

Reverend Billy has a new book out called The Earth Wants You, published by City Lights Books (San Francisco). It’s a quick read, but all about breaking out of our busy-ness, and listening to Earth as a call to get involved in some new kinds of activism — and fast. At a recent book talk, Billy said he ran across this information by accident one day: At one point recently more than half of the counties in the country were in federally certified states of emergency, and yet the American media machine was so silent on the matter that you had to ask yourself, “Who’s the censor?” If the Earth is indeed speaking to us, we’ve chosen to demote that […]

How can I divest from the Pentagon?

Divest from the Pentagon, Invest in People - Redirect your taxes from war to peace! National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee - nwtrcc.org - (800) 269-7464

NWTRCC chose the theme “Divest from the Pentagon, Invest in People” for our 2016 Days of War Tax Action. Divestment (also called disinvestment) has been used to galvanize big changes, like abolishing apartheid in South Africa. Today, it’s used in the movements against fossil fuels and Israeli occupation of Palestine, where supporters pressure institutions and corporations to stop investing in certain governments, industries, or businesses. Divestment campaigns don’t always encourage individuals to see their own complicity in the target industry or behavior. While I don’t think we should only focus on changing ourselves, or trying to make ourselves “perfectly” ethical, we should understand if we are upholding the systems we oppose. And when we invest our taxes in war, that’s […]

Solidarity with Japanese and Korean war resisters

by Jason Rawn (This is the text of a statement Jason gave at a demonstration on Jeju Island. The photo is from a demonstration on Okinawa.) The US military has personnel in at least 175 countries, according to David Swanson in War is a Lie. The US has at least 800 military facilities in other countries. The US misinvests more on war than any other country. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated the US military budget for 2014 at $610 billion. (Other sources put this figure much higher, at over $1,000,000,000,000.) In comparison, Japan was the 9th biggest military spender, at $45.8 billion, and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was 10th with $36.7 billion. These figures make me […]

Dive$t from the Pentagon

drawing of melting snowman wearing a black hat that says "Melty" and a blue scarf with "Border Free" printed on it. Text: DIVE$T from the PENTAGON over a simple yellow sun.

by Jason Rawn People are talking more and more about abolishing war and redirecting the mis-invested wealth into renewable energy, healthcare, bioremediation, public transit, etc. We need vast resources to address (embrace?) this climate-change-framed historical moment. As it happens, vast financial wealth has been and is currently being created by short-sighted, omnicidal industries. Perhaps this second vastness could cover the first. Consider the following from Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate: “The US military is by some accounts the largest single consumer of petroleum in the world. In 2011, the Department of Defense released, at minimum, 56.6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere, more than the U.S.-based operations of ExxonMobil and Shell combined. So […]

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 […]