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 […]

Podcast #5: War Tax Resisters Abroad

In Episode Number 5, we hear from two war tax resisters who have recently traveled overseas to work with other war resisters and learn more about the real impacts of US warmongering. Jason Rawn has traveled to Asia twice in the past year, visiting Okinawa in Japan and Jeju Island in Korea to organize with local resisters against US military bases. We’ll cover some of the history around Okinawa and Jeju Island, and interview Jason Rawn about his experiences. Dana Visalli had planned a trip to Syria, but the Syrian government denied his visa. Instead, he spent time in Lebanon with Syrian refugees, and also learned about the history and creation of the nation we call Syria. He reads two […]

Job opening at NWTRCC; new books by war tax resisters

activists holding a black umbrella with a peace sign on it, a blue sign with red letters saying "Honk for peace," and a banner reading "Don't like war? Then don't pay for it! Your taxes arm the world"

First and foremost, we have just listed our new Field Organizer/Outreach Consultant position on Idealist, New York Craigslist, and our website! We’re looking to build more power among our network affiliates and individual WTRs around the country. This is a temporary position with flexible hours. See the listings for details and application procedures. War tax resister Clare Hanrahan has recently released her memoir, The Half-Life of a Free Radical: Growing Up Irish Catholic in Jim Crow Memphis. On her website, she mentions when her family was counted for the 1960 Census: In the photo Mama is seated, pen in hand, filling out the form. Daddy stands behind her with his ever-present Roi Tan cigar in the hand that rests on […]

Which wars are we resisting?

In this month’s conference, I saw us wrestle several times with the definition of war. There hasn’t been a declaration of war for the US military in a long time. But we don’t need a declaration to see that what’s going on in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and many other places is war. We even talked about whether our slogan “Divest from the Pentagon, invest in people” should say “divest from war,” to really emphasize in plain language what is at stake. As Coleman Smith pointed out to our almost all-white gathering this weekend, we won’t look credible if we tell folks in black communities that the only wars are overseas. Police brutality, mass incarceration, and institutionalized racism as manifestations of […]

Honoring S. Brian Willson and remembering Daniel Berrigan

Just a few quick notes before our conference this weekend in Lansdowne/Philadelphia, PA! The documentary about anti-war activist, veteran, and war tax resister S. Brian Willson, Paying the Price for Peace, is now available! The website says, “Vietnam Veteran S. Brian Willson paid the price for peace by nearly being killed by a military train during a non-violent protest. Since then, he has not stopped calling attention to the US government’s defiance of international law through waging endless illegal wars.Paying the Price for Peace exposes the truth about the United States’ addiction to war, and the lies it perpetuates in order to wage ongoing violence, through the life and times of Air Force veteran S. Brian Willson and other veterans.” […]

Tax Day 2016 – photos, articles, interviews

Last year on tax day in New York City there was a long line of people outside the IRS waiting to get inside for forms or to have questions answered. This year there was no line at all. Does that mean the IRS was more efficient? Or was it because people didn’t really notice that the final day to file this year was April 18 (or the 19th in Maine and Massachusetts), so many people had things done by April 15? Whatever the reasons, we had a good group out with signs and banners and handed out lots of WRL pie charts: In Washington, DC, on April 15, some of us vigiled at IRS headquarters on Constitution Avenue before joining up […]

Service and agitation on LA’s Skid Row

Book review: Dietrich, Jeff. 2011. Broken and Shared: Food, Dignity, and the Poor on Los Angeles’ Skid Row. Marymount Institute Press / Tsehai Publishers. In 1970, Jeff Dietrich was a young draft resister who had just returned to the United States from traveling in Europe. He heard about the Catholic Worker movement at a Peacemakers conference in St. Louis, and set out for the Los Angeles Catholic Worker to learn more. For the last 45 years, he has been dedicated to the various projects of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker (LACW). Community members live on low incomes in solidarity with the poor. LACW, in keeping with the teachings of Dorothy Day, does not have tax-exempt status. LACW is noted for […]