Resisting alone, then discovering community

image of Morpheus from the movie The Matrix with text overlaid: "What if I told you Trump can't use your money for bombs if you don't pay taxes?"

More people are starting to consider tax resistance against the Trump administration. And many don’t know at first that others are already refusing to pay war taxes! Today, we look back at an 2007 interview with other new resisters. This article was originally published in NWTRCC’s June/July 2007 newsletter.   By Ed Hedemann A 21-year-old dance major and animal rights activist from Flagstaff, Arizona, and a 46-year-old bingo hall operator from Bismarck, North Dakota, might not seem to have much in common. But recently [in 2007] both of them began to refuse their Federal taxes as a protest to the war without knowing that anyone else in the country was doing the same. Most people who become war tax resisters […]

Prisoners on War Tax Resistance

By Norm Lowry Poster’s Note: Norm Lowry receives the NWTRCC newsletter at the State Correctional Institution Dallas in Pennsylvania where he is held. He shares the newsletter with other prisoners, so in correspondence I asked if he would report on reactions to our work from other readers at SCI Dallas. I will send comments to Norm to share with his peers and perhaps we can continue a discussion. “While the government seems never to run out of money for guns, bombs and planes, prisons seem never to run out of cells to put somebody in.” — Herman Bell, 43+ years in prison, most of it in solitary confinement, for being black For nearly eight years now, I’ve been purposefully investing […]

Resisting Taxes to Support Racial Justice in the Midwest

At our gathering in St. Louis a few weeks ago, I talked with people about hosting presentations in their communities. I am currently figuring out my work plan for the next six months. I am planning on traveling to meet you and organize with you! To give you a sense of these trips, I want to write a bit about my trip to the Midwest. Following the national gathering, I did a small tour focused on resisting taxes for racial justice. I first went to Chicago. We had a lunch at the Christian Peacemaker Teams office. CPT is a spiritual group that supports frontline struggles. We had a group of CPT staff and tax resisters from Chicago. We talked about […]

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 […]

Organizing Region to Region: My Travels in Upstate New York

Well, I am back in Philadelphia after a week in upstate New York. Whew! It was a lot of hours on the train and on the road! It was nice, though, to look out the window and see hills, rivers, and lakes. I love Philadelphia, but living in the city I forget the natural beauty of rural areas. When I travel it feels like I cross a threshold and am going into a different world altogether. Over the course of the week, I led three presentations on war tax resistance and racial justice. There was one in Ithaca, Syracuse, and Rochester, NY. I also got to see some friends and family, which was an added bonus. The idea for this trip started at […]

Bread or Bombs?

I needed bread and you sent a bomb

For better or worse, I start my day off listening to the NPR news and then listening/watching Democracy Now! Today’s big story was about the release of two pages of Trump’s taxes from 2005 — more all-Trump-all-the-time. Even his 12-year-old taxes get big notice. However, the reporter who received the leaked forms, David Cay Johnston, and attempted to break the story, is very well-informed on IRS issues and always worth reading or listening to. I say that even though I remember that one of our war tax resisters was on an interview show with him some years ago, and he spoke strongly against war tax resistance. I don’t know if he’s changed that tune, but he’s a smart guy anyway. […]

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 […]

Ammon Hennacy’s “One-Man Revolution”

Ammon Hennacy: The Autobiography of a Catholic Anarchist

A man asked me: “Why does a fellow like you—with an education, and who has been all over the country—end up in this out-of-the-way place, working for very little on a farm?” I explained that people who had good jobs in factories had a withholding tax for war taken from their pay, and that people who worked on farms had no tax taken from their pay. I told him that I refused to pay taxes. He was a returned soldier, and said that he did not like war either, but what could a fellow do about it? I replied that we each did what we really wanted to. ―Ammon Hennacy, The Book of Ammon Ammon Hennacy refused to pay war taxes […]

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 […]

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 […]

Reasons to Celebrate

Somehow the IRS is attuned to vacations and holidays. They like to surprise you with their letters, bills and perhaps stronger demands just when you’re in a good mood or feeling relaxed. Like last week: I came back from vacation to a pile of 10 “Amount Due” letters from the IRS (not sure what our house sitter thought about that). There was one for each year still within the Statute of Limitations for collection. Since I file and refuse to pay, the IRS has 10 years to collect from the date of assessment, or about a month after you file (unless they dispute your return or don’t file; then assessment will come later). So I got a letter for each […]

Fits and Starts with WTR Organizing

Here in New York City there are a lot of war tax resisters and people who support war tax resistance. It should be a big, active community, but over the years and from experience, we’ve found it exceedingly hard to get people together. There are about 125 people on the email list for NYC resisters. Some have moved out of the city by now, but a lot of those 125 are still here. A couple years ago an informal support session attracted the host and the two of us long-timers who initiate most of the workshops or meetings in NYC. There gets to be a point when you think it’s more detrimental to try to have a meeting if only […]