Natural Disasters and the Disaster of Militarism

Given all the crises we are seeing (or living) today, the crime of sustaining a massive military and endless wars is obvious. Emergency relief has a tiny budget compared to the Pentagon, and recently some members of Congress began to demand that new money for crises must be offset by spending cuts. You can bet they are not looking at the Pentagon for those cuts. As I’ve watched the news about devastating hurricanes and fires in recent months, I was thinking that sending the military to help with relief is a far better use of the troops than sending them to war. It would, of course, be better if they were actually trained in relief rather than killing, something that a […]

Seeking more tax resistance to Trump

Anti-Trump rally

Many people began their war tax resistance as a direct response to a war, a battle, or an atrocity, such as the Vietnam War, the Iraq wars, US interventions in Central America, or the ongoing training at the School of the Americas. In the past year, new resisters (some calling themselves war tax resisters, some not) have been motivated by militarism, bigotry, and corruption in the Trump administration, including financial conflicts of interest, the border wall, restrictions on immigrants and refugees, and nuclear antagonism. Writer Mirah Curzer predicted, shortly before Trump took office: “This is not going to be an easy four years. We’re going to be subjected to constant gaslighting by the President and his administration. We’ll be dealing […]

The latest travel ban expands US wars

on left: "Wars create refugees. Our taxes fund the wars. National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee - www.nwtrcc.org" on right: photo of truck driving toward refugee camp with many white tents.

The Trump administration released a new travel ban on Sunday, September 24, 2017. This new travel ban includes majority-Muslim countries covered under previous travel bans (Somalia, Iran, Syria, and Yemen), but also includes provisions preventing certain kinds of travel to the US from Libya, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. People are worried that this expansion of the travel ban may be harder to challenge in court, as it no longer targets majority-Muslim countries exclusively. Nevertheless, as I mentioned in a February blog post on border militarization, these travel bans increase the punishment of civilians in countries already targeted by the US.  Yemenis are suffering a cholera epidemic and catastrophic war waged by a US-supported Saudi-led coalition. The US has provided […]

Lifting Up Dellinger and Antiwar Activists

Are you watching the big Ken Burns/Lynn Novick series The Vietnam War on PBS? My friends are talking about it, some are watching it, others, like me, not. I still find the horror of that war too painful to see the footage again. The waste on all levels remains painful and has carried through my life of working against war. In addition, the documentary apparently gives short shrift to the antiwar movement. I was skeptical when the New York Times review said, “The film’s center of moral gravity is ordinary soldiers, whose sacrifice and loyalty to one another are repeatedly contrasted with the political machinations of the powerful, on both sides.” Not the thousands in the streets who saw from […]

There And Back Again: Organizing on the Road

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

Whew! What a trip. Eight days, six presentations, two conferences, nine states & provinces in two countries, 50 hours on the road, and 3,600 miles later! And I am back in Philly. Glad to say it was a rental car with unlimited miles rather than with my 1990 Oldsmobile (even though I would have been looking a lot more fly on the road in the Oldsmobile…). There’s so much to share from my latest war tax resistance organizing trip, I’m not even sure of where to begin. So I’ll share some tidbits and then if you have additional questions, please comment or email me. Most Relaxed Point The first stop of my field organizing trip was perhaps the most peaceful. […]

I Call Bullshit On The Trans Ban

I call bullshit. Trump announced last week that trans people will be banned from serving in the US military. And no I don’t call bullshit on Trump tweeting that trans people are banned from serving in the military. Unfortunately as a trans person in this world, I am not surprised by the constant transphobia and oppression of us at just about every level of our lives. Instead, I am disgusted by the responses. I have spent hours and hours pouring through article after article, and across the board, the media and “progressive organizations” have taken this time to glorify and pinkwash* the military, violent masculinity, and murder. All in the name of “supporting trans people!” And I call bullshit. There’s […]

On Facelifts and Strategizing

I started to write about something else until I ran into the new website for the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund (NCPTF). It looks great! Maybe this facelift will give new life to the decades old legislative campaign to allow conscientious objectors to war redirect their federal income taxes to a special fund for non-military purposes alone. NCPTF is a NWTRCC affiliate, and many people in our network actively lobby for the bill. It’s remarkable how often new people suggest to the NWTRCC office the idea of a legislative campaign and are surprised to hear that such a campaign already exists. More widely, a flurry of articles on this topic appeared when the Supreme Court made the health […]

A budget for war, wealth, and racism

picture of two unmanned drones sitting on the tarmac, one headlined "Afghanistan" and one headlined "US Border" (with US Customs and Border Protection printed on the side of the drone). Text at the bottom: Refuse to pay for wars at home and abroad - www.nwtrcc.org

Nothing in the Trump budget came as a surprise to me. Nevertheless, I often surprise myself with how often I can still feel outraged over the priorities of people in power. I probably don’t need to tell you what a disaster the Trump budget is for those targeted by the US government’s law enforcement and military. (If you want to learn more, a couple of sources addressing this subject are National Priorities Project and TomDispatch.) But in short, the proposed 2018 federal budget reduces non-military discretionary expenses (such as health, housing, education, and more) by $54 billion to pay for $54 billion more for military expenses. The budget summary tells us these cuts are necessary because the world is more […]

Tax Day Resistance, Redirection, and Planning Ahead

Tax day is behind us now — but tax season 2018 will be here before we know it! Northern California War Tax Resistance used their time and energy in the Tax March San Francisco to inform participants (who were mostly calling for Trump to release his taxes) about W-4 resistance and to get them thinking about resisting next year. They created this flyer (with matching banner) to hand out during the march: Not only were they referring people to the website for more information, but the group has arranged for a War Tax Resistance 101 live webinar and in-person gathering on Sunday, April 23, to follow up on the march. Follow that link for details and to register; be sure […]

Yes, it’s time for a tax strike

A few weeks ago, Truthout published Is it time for a tax strike? A conversation with activist Michael Kink. Kink is executive director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition in New York City. The title of the article refers to to the very last prompt and answer in the interview. The prompt was, “People are planning protests around Tax Day, and one of the things other than general strikes that is floating around in the air is the idea of tax resistance.” And Kink responded, “I think this year for Tax Day, it is like, “Donald Trump, release your taxes and don’t give huge tax cuts to your billionaire buddies….” The plan for massive tax cuts for billionaires who […]

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 […]

Upcoming Webinars on War Tax Resistance and Redirection

photo of Trump standing at a podium, shouting and pointing, with the words "We Won't Pay!" superimposed on his face

There has been renewed interest in war tax resistance following Trump’s inauguration. Something has clicked in the minds of thousands of people across the country… we don’t want to pay for Trump’s agenda! While many of the reasons people are fed up—extreme militarism, mass incarceration, police brutality, and mass deportations—are part of the foundation of our country, it is exciting to see many new people contacting NWTRCC and wanting to organize in their communities. We have a series of webinars coming up in the next few weeks to support this new wave of resisters. Join us online to learn more about war tax resistance and our redirection effort for this year! Webinars UPDATE: These webinars are over, but you can see recordings […]