Transcription of NWTRCC’s Google Hangout #1

War Tax Resistance for a Better World

Transcription of Google Hangout #1, March 28, 2014

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Introduction

Erica: My name is Erica and I’m the social media coordinator for the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, which is also called NWTRCC for short. Welcome to NWTRCC’s first Google Hangout on Air. Before we get started, for those of you are who are unfamiliar with our organization, I want to tell you a little bit about NWTRCC. War tax resisters founded NWTRCC in 1982 to inform current and prospective resisters about legal and practical issues, and to provide support and a community to people practicing war tax resistance. So then if you’re new to the subject, I’m gonna let you know just a little bit about war tax resistance, what it is. Briefly, it’s the refusal to pay some or all of the federal taxes that pay for war. While it’s possible to legally refuse the income tax by lowering your taxable income, war tax resistance often involves an act of civil disobedience. In the U.S., that can mean refusing some or all of your federal income tax, or other taxes like the federal excise tax on local phone service. Income taxes and excise taxes are destined for the government’s general fund, and about half that money helps pay for the military budget, including all types of weapons of war and weapons of mass destruction. War tax resisters have a variety of methods of resistance and many different reasons for doing their resistance, and tonight we’re going to hear from three panelists with a combined 15 years of experience in resistance about why and how they practice war tax resistance.

Our panelists are Ari from Philadelphia, who’s been a war tax resister for 4 years, Katherine from Boston who’s been a war tax resister for 8 years, and Shaolida from New York, who has been a war tax resister for three years. If you have questions for our panelists as they share their stories, please enter them in the Q&A section on the right side of your screen, and we’ll get to them at the end.

So our first question, I’m going to start with Ari, is, how did you first learn about war tax resistance?

Ari: I’m not sure I first heard about war tax resistance, but I first started thinking about war tax resistance when I was in college and the war in Afghanistan started, and I was really upset about that, and I didn’t want to be supporting war, supporting innocent people dying, and at that point I didn’t know a lot about tax resistance and I was sort of doing it in this very passive way where I was just making less than the taxable income. And then one year I started making more than the taxable income, and I was like, oh no, like, now I need to figure out how do you actually do this, and so that’s – that happened in 2009, and so that’s when I started to hear more about war tax resistance, and I started to talk to two war tax resisters who are friends of mine, and got some mentorship from them.

Katherine: I found out about war tax resistance because I’m a Quaker, and so I was at the Yearly Meeting of Quakers in New England, and I went to a young adult evening event where an older friend was there talking about his experience with war tax resistance. And you know, it was something I hadn’t really thought about very much before or heard of very much before, but it just kind of resonated with me. And I thought, you know, okay, right now I’m in college and you know, my parents are still claiming me as a dependent, this isn’t something I can do right now, but I kind of filed it away for the future, something I knew I was going to need to think about, it was going to need to be a decision at some point in my life about it. That was pretty much where I first heard about it.

Shaolida: Thanks so much for organizing this, Erica. So I first heard about it because I think I met Ruth [Benn], who was the coordinator [of NWTRCC] and I guess I knew about war tax resistance through War Resisters League at Peace Pentagon where I was a collective member with Paper Tiger Television, but I guess I first heard the phrase “war tax” [inaudible] something to consider about how our taxes paid for war. When I turned 21, my parents turned over some money that they had invested in my name, and all of a sudden I was expected to make all these decisions about how I wanted to spend the money, and how I would appear as a person with money in society. I went from like, a teenager who didn’t report taxes at all to someone with a very complicated tax return, so it was kind of like an ethical crisis as well as just like overwhelming, because all of a sudden there was all these decisions that I had to make. But then there were all these decisions that had already been made in my name, and I was sort of overwhelmed sorting through that, and then I began to imagine like, what that looked like on a global and historical level when a lot of your money has been spent in your name, and without a lot of your knowledge, and so that’s how I first started hearing about war tax. And then I heard about the resistance through Ruth in New York City.

Erica: The next part of the question is, how did you decide to start doing war tax resistance, and I think, Lida you already talked a little about that, so I’ll have you continue and tell us how you decided to start doing war tax resistance.

Shaolida: Yeah, so it was kind of like a really long process, it took like maybe five years or so, time to just understand everything that was happening and also to get over some of the myths about debt in our society. You know, that like you’re a bad person if you don’t pay your taxes, you’re a bad person if you don’t pay your debt, or you don’t keep your promises, or things like this, you know, that I hear a lot right now too when people find out that I’m a war tax resister, and like in general that I support debt resistance. But so, there was kind of like that preprocess of just all of a sudden coming into some money, but then the very specific process of becoming a war tax resister. I just started learning a lot about how our money was spent, learning more about there existed this community of people who 40 years ago, this was the way that they decided to protest the war, and at that time I guess it was the Vietnam War. And then my father also was super influenced by war, it marked his whole life. He lived through the Nanjing Massacre in China, which was happening around the same time as the Holocaust, and it just really impacted his life, and it impacted my life and so I grew up really kind of traumatized about like the effects of war. I don’t think that my family would be here in the United States if it weren’t for that history. So those are all things like [inaudible] on me when I was 21. So I just learned a lot about the process, I learned a lot about the risks, about the history. And then actually, the actual moment of resisting was kind of an accident, was one year where I just didn’t pay taxes, and then I was like, “oh, I’ll file later,” and then I just, in that time of just deciding to file later, I was just like, “why am I going to pay? I’m just not going to pay.” And so I just didn’t do it that year, and from there that kind of broke the ice, and then since then I’ve just haven’t paid, and I can talk more about the specifics of how I’m not doing that, or paying taxes. But yeah, it was actually kind of like prep work, prep work, prep work, and then I tripped and fell into the lake, and that’s how I ended up here.

Katherine: So it started that day in college when I heard from this other war tax resister about what she was doing, and so that kind of did the seed for me, and then I graduated and I went to work for a Quaker organization. And while I was in college the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had started, and you know, I was out in the street protesting and trying to find, you know, every way that I could to resist what was happening, and I was thinking about the way that my government does that in my name and how I didn’t want to participate in that. So the time came when I had to do my taxes for the first time and you know, I was just thinking about it and actually I remember there was a particular moment when I was remembering a scene from Fahrenheit 9/11 when they’re filming military recruiters in a mall parking lot and they’re talking to these two young men and trying to convince them to join the military and you know, the recruiter says to one of them, “what do you want to do when you get older, what are your career plans?” and he says, “well, you know, I really love music, I would love to be a musician” and the recruiter says, “the military is great preparation for a career in music.” And I was just so outraged as a musician myself and you know, as a pacifist, I don’t know why it was that, that particular moment, but I just remember wanting to stand up in the theater and be like “No, somebody tell them they don’t have to go!” Like, it was like watching these two young men being lured into walking off a cliff, and I don’t know, for some reason that moment stuck with me, I dunno why. But it came back to me a few years later as I was thinking about paying my taxes, and it was just really clear to me like, you know, I pay that guy’s salary, like that military recruiter, that’s us paying him to lie to people and you know, try to pull them away from their lives and their dreams and their families, and you know, make them learn how to kill other people. I just want no part of that. And then actually I went through a clearness process with my Quaker meeting, which is this really awesome part of the Quaker tradition, where if you’re making a big decision in your life, you know, people do it for marriage or for joining the Quaker community, or for other things like war tax resistance. So I got together with a group of people from my meeting and they asked me questions to help me really think this through and make sure it was really what I wanted to do. So after that process I decided that I really wanted to do it, and I had the support of my community behind me, yeah, that’s when I started resisting.

Ari: I decided to start, really at first it was this super passive thing, where I just wasn’t making above the taxable income, and so I would file my taxes each year, and I would get all my money back, and you know, I just felt good that I wasn’t supporting these wars. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq really, I think, traumatized a lot of people in my generation. I was doing that for three years, and then one year I made more than a taxable income and I didn’t get all my money back, and I remember just feeling like, this heartbreak, you know, I just felt like how I can be supporting this war machine… Our military’s not just killing people, it’s also, you know it targets low-income communities and communities of color and takes people away from their families and they die young, and they marry young and they have babies young, and you know, leave those families, and for me that’s just like heartbreaking to think about, and really traumatizing. And at the time I was working with low-income youth in Maine and you know, a lot of our youth after they graduated from high school didn’t have other options and were going into the military, and we had all these, like, conversations on staff about that and how we felt about that. And you know, we would always wonder, are they going to come back or when’s the next time we’re going to see them. And so 2009 for me was just like this heartbreaking experience of realizing that I was helping to fund that system and I was helping to fund like this U.S. imperialism that I really feel strongly against and feel like I do a lot of work to like take away that power, but then here I am financially supporting it. And so that’s when I started to talk to these two people I know that have been war tax resisters for much longer than myself, and just learning a lot more about it and trying to understand not just the tactics for how to resist but also the other reasons that people do it. You know, what I think I really love [is] that everyone does it for some personal reason, and it doesn’t have to be the same reason for everybody, and people don’t use the same tactics either. And so hearing from them and actually I talked to Ruth also, and just like reading, consuming as much information about it as possible, and then also consuming as much as I could about taxes and the tax code and how that works, and also getting really angry, you know, that even in addition to our military system targeting low-income communities, our taxes also target low-income communities. [I’m] just feeling like it’s really super messed up that we’re like sending these folks off to war and then we’re like taking even more money from them through the tax system also. So these two things just were really heavy for me, and I knew I didn’t want to be supporting a government that feels comfortable just invading other countries and killing innocent people and taking people away from their families here. And that’s not how I see my country, that’s not the country I want to be representing, and that I couldn’t continue to even accidentally fund that. And so that’s really what led me there, it was a hard decision. I was really scared the first year I was doing it, I was like really terrified that I’d get in a lot of trouble. And then I think I’m still scared in a lot of ways, but I also like feel comfortable that that’s the right decision, and there’s no part of me that feels like I’m making the wrong decision.

Erica: Now we’re coming to a sort of two-part question that’s more about, and some folks have already answered this in some way or another: how do you do war tax resistance? Specifically, what method of resistance do you use, or methods, and if you could talk a little more for folks about what the consequences of war tax resistance have been, both positive and negative. Let’s start with Katherine this time.

Katherine: One really nice thing about war tax resistance is that there’s different ways to do it, so you can figure out what works for you, what works for a particular time in your life and you can change it as you go along, so that’s one really good thing about it. So I started out resisting by filling out my tax forms every year and then just sending [them] along with a letter saying I’m not going to pay. And I resist 100% of my income taxes because I know that whatever I do pay will just go into the general pot and then you know, about half of that ends up going to war-related expenses. So I just don’t pay any of them. And that entailed doing W-4 resistance to stop the withholding and then at the end of the year refusing to pay. So I did that for several years, four or five years, and you know, I would get letters from the IRS saying, you owe us this money and please call us. And then eventually I got one that said, this is a final notice of intent to levy, you have a right to a hearing…. I had a hearing, they said, okay, you know, we still think [inaudible] to pay, and so we’re going to collect your money from you, so they’ve seized various chunks of money from various places, you know, bank accounts, or they went to an employer one time…. I still have some outstanding that they’re still, you know, presumably trying to get eventually, and you know, that’s been one of the consequences, is having money unexpectedly seized, so that can be nervewracking. And I think the letters that they send are designed to produce anxiety. You know, in my case, I put my money into an escrow fund so that I could get it back again if it ever was seized by the IRS and then that simultaneously meant of course that I wasn’t personally benefitting from not paying my taxes, so I thought that was a good way of, like, a practical way of dealing with that consequence. And also I just know that I have my community behind me and I’m not gonna, you know, if I get money seized and I’m in financial trouble I know that there are people who will help me. So that consequence hasn’t been as scary as it could eventually be. I also don’t have a mortgage, children or anything like that, so that at this time in my life, the consequences have been fairly small. So I did that for the first bunch of years, and then after that, I started resisting equally by keeping my taxable income pretty low and then also putting some into an IRA account. There’s this really great tax credit that you can get for putting money into an IRA, and especially if your income is already low, you can actually legally reduce your tax burden quite a bit. So I’ve actually been able to reduce it down to nothing for the last, like three or four years, so that’s been really good. I don’t know if that’s going to continue to be the way I do it, you know, long-term or I’m going to be doing it illegally again in the future. I do consider, well, I consider breaking the law part of the witness in a way because it draws attention to it, it’s a risk, it’s a way of making this stand and saying I refuse to do this, so I think that’s really useful. And I think there’s also something about, you know, keeping my income low and my life simple, that’s also really good witness. So yeah, it’s been changing over time.

Erica: That’s something that I think a lot of resisters find over time, is just their strategy of resistance changes, and they adopt different strategies. And that’s one of the great things about our community of resisters: we just have so much information available and so many stories to share about how people do things that we can rely on, so that’s really great. Lida, if you could tell us more about how you do war tax resistance and what the consequences have been.

Shaolida: I just want to echo what you said, Erica, I think a lot of people see this as a really black and white issue in terms of do you or do you not pay taxes and actually there’s just so many, there’s such a diverse way of doing this, it really can fit or work for anybody… I just don’t report. I take consulting things in piecemeal so that the people in the organizations that I work for don’t have to report that they paid me either, if I can. I will eventually I think, I’ve decided to submit Peace Tax Returns, which is basically like submitting a tax return that declares to the government the reasons why you’re not paying these taxes. So I divert the money that I save from war tax resistance to local efforts and projects that I like, so a lot of it goes directly to my local school because I prefer to just directly support education which I think all my taxes, I just want all of it to [inaudible]. And yeah, and just other local projects in New York that I can support with this money. I think a lot of people talk about like what they’re going to do with their refund check, and I would to see that expanded to, what would you do with all of your tax money? You know, it’s a quite large percentage of what you’re paying and what you’re not getting every year. So, yeah, and then in terms of risk and how I feel about it, I just kind of think there’s only a handful of IRS agents who are toiling away trying to enforce on 317 million plus people in the U.S.. So it actually doesn’t feel like a huge risk to me, I understand that I haven’t actually gone through any hearings or like, [been] personally targeted, I don’t even get any letters. I’m pretty under the radar, no one has ever, no agency has ever written me, talked to me, called me, anything. And I actually feel like I’m part of that group that they target because that’s the largest group to control, so I’m surprised that I haven’t gotten anything, actually, so I’m kind of like preparing for it. The Peace Tax Return will probably be my next step, and then I’m also looking at some more complicated maneuvers in terms of like, creating land trusts to put your property in and then you can share the property with yourself, your family, but it’s kind of held in trust for, in perpetuity. So just kind of trying to learn more about these kind of structural ways of keeping your money for communities and not for war, to build up communities here.
I’ll start with the negative consequences so I can end with the positive consequences. The negative consequences have, well, one concrete consequence is I’ve had trouble applying for financial aid, when I decided to go back to school because I didn’t have any tax returns to show, so the financial aid advisor just didn’t understand. I think I’ve been a little scared to explain it to him, and also kind of like, I just don’t really want to take the time to explain it to him, but I think that he could understand based upon some of his understandings of like: if you are someone like an undocumented person and didn’t pay taxes. I think he sort of understands that people don’t pay taxes who exist, but I mean a lot of undocumented folks do pay taxes too, so that’s one issue that I’ve had. So I’ve had to look for external funding for school and just applying for foundation support and other things like that, and it’s actually been really gratifying to see all of these folks who do support undocumented students or other people, and don’t rely on kind of like this one measure of how human or how much you pay for society to judge whether they should support your education, and so… Another negative consequence I mentioned before is kind of like there’s like social consequences in this really strange way of like, people don’t really understand what you’re doing so they have a lot of assumptions about who you are or why you do these things and that’s been difficult to navigate. And I think like one thing that’s been helpful to kind of, like, be really honest about the reasons why I do it, and just like be really clear. I guess that bleeds into the positive thing, is that I guess I personally I just feel better about the kind of autonomy decisions I’m making about my life. Like, I’m not so naïve that I think that, like, my war tax resistance is going to stop the war, it just kind of makes me personally in line with the line of history that I feel really indebted to, not financially be part of a genocide that kind of like marked my family in a lot of ways, so I guess I feel like I’m carrying on some of my like family work via this, so in that small way it makes a huge impact and a huge positive impact on my life.

Erica: Thanks for sharing your story, and also thanks for bringing up redirection cause I know that’s a thing that a lot of war tax resisters do and feel really strongly about. So that’s a theme that we’ve been talking a lot about throughout NWTRCC, is just the highlighting of these positive things that war tax resisters do with the money they resist. We’re not just holding on to it for ourselves, we’re also doing really amazing things.

Shaolida: Just to add to that, I think it’s actually pretty interesting to really be clear about what I actually would want to support with that money. You know like right now, the government decides how they spend your tax money but it’s pretty fun to think about like well, do I support my local schools 100%, 80%, whatever, it’s kind of just like you create your own algorithm of what you would dream that your society would be like. You know, how much you would invest in certain things, like you don’t pay for potholes, renovations in your town but you can if you wanted to. And it kind of dovetails with – I think there’s excitement about participatory budgeting in Chicago and New York right now where some of the council-people are letting communities decide how to spend the money, and it helps you be really aware of what your values are and how you would spend your money, so it’s an interesting exercise.

Ari: I am a W-4 resister, I claim an absurd number of allowances on my W-4 so that I don’t pay any federal income tax out of my paycheck, which yeah, it’s kind of insane but fun. And then I do file my taxes, I actually sort of obsessively do taxes, I’m a math nerd and really enjoy the process of going through the documents in this way that feels really bizarre and then I redirect 100% of my tax dollars. I redirect it to an organization that I have been a part of for a number of years from where I lived. I used to live in Maine, and the organization is based in Maine and really works on affordable housing and expanding public transportation and access to education it’s sort of like what Lida was saying, I want to be supporting the things that I feel good about, I want to be supporting, you know, my community and communities I’ve been a part of, and so it’s really important to me that the money not just be held somewhere. And one thing I do also, sort of to reduce my tax burden in general, is I redistribute about 25% of my income separate from the tax dollars also, and that ironically reduces how much I owe in taxes because gifts to charity you can write off. But it also makes me feel sort of better about what I’m funding and that it’s not just about redistributing what I owe in taxes but it’s just about wealth in general and who has wealth in this society. And if I can be funding things that are going to make it a more just society and a more equal society, then I want to be doing that… And then as far as the negative effects and positive effects – the negative ones are I do community finance loans to organizations instead of having a savings account, and a few years ago the IRS tried to take one of those loans or part of one of those loans, in order for me to repay my taxes. And that, you know, that felt really horrible because they were trying to take money from an organization that I was trying to support, but ironically they sort of messed up in the process and they didn’t end up taking any money. That same year I was getting letters from the IRS very frequently, like you know, every month or two… They were threatening, and I think Katherine was saying like, they’re meant to be threatening, you know, the letters are meant to scare you. I didn’t do anything about them and I didn’t move my money either…. The organization I loaned the money to had said, “oh, do you want your loan back so this isn’t a problem,” and I was like, “no, let’s just see what happens.” And since then I get one letter from the IRS every year after I file my taxes being like, “we got your taxes, you didn’t actually pay us any money!” And I actually like that letter because they tell you how much you owe, and I always feel good when the number that they say is the same number that I said. I’m like yes, I did my taxes correctly! And I just ignore it, and the past few years I haven’t gotten any other letters, just the one. And you know, as far as the positive effects: it feels good, like, I’m a person who tries to live out my values, just in general like the food I eat, the transportation I take, in every way, to the point of, like, some people think it’s ridiculous. Like I don’t have a cell phone, you know like all these things, I don’t have Facebook, all these things that people have, I try to, you know, just to live in a way that I can feel good about, and war tax resistance is something I feel great about. I don’t want to be supporting war and so ultimately I think the greatest reward for me is that I can feel good when I file my taxes. I know that I am being honest about them and I feel good with where my money’s going. And every year when I file, you know, I sit at my desk, I submit my 1040, and I submit a letter explaining you know, that I’m morally opposed to war and I usually include some statistics about how many people have died in the past year and drone strikes and you know, all of these reasons why I don’t support it. And then I also send them a copy of the check, of my redirection check, to show them that this isn’t about withholding money, that’s not what it’s about at all. What it’s about is supporting positive things… right now the new statistic is 45% [of the federal budget] is going to pay for current or past wars. That’s a lot, like 45% is a huge amount. If 45% of my budget was going to pay for any one thing, that’s not what I would want it to be paying for. I want to be paying for something that makes people happy, you know, to give people education or food, having access to fresh food is really important to me. There are so many other things that I think should have 45% of the budget, and current and past wars isn’t one of them, so, you know, I feel like that feeling of just being like okay, I get to choose… that’s like the most positive part. And meeting all these other cool people, that’s also been fun.

Erica: Absolutely. That’s a great way to wrap up the question part, yeah, thank you all for being here. I’m gonna open it up for questions from the audience, such as they are. There should be a Q&A box on your computer screen and you can submit questions to one or all of our panelists, and while I’m waiting to see if any questions are gonna come from the audience I just wanted to, and I think you’ve already touched on it again, just what is the most rewarding thing about war tax resistance for you? And we’ll start with Lida.

Lida: The most rewarding thing – I guess it’s kind of, it’s like having a regular practice, thinking about war and violence in my life that’s kind of like positive and therapeutic and like, about my own decisions and autonomy and not what other people decided for me. I think war is something that’s unconsensual, it’s always something that is not by your choice, the people who participate like you and the soldiers who are fighting right now. Like I don’t think that any of them, that this was their top top choice in life, you know, to make war happen…

Ari: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s what I was just talking about, just feeling good about what I’m supporting, feeling like I’m able to live out a life in a way that I can feel good about and yeah I think that’s for me that’s the rewarding thing: Not feeling trapped.

Katherine: Living in a way that’s in accordance with my values, and you know, for me, it’s also partly about being Quaker, I feel like I’m living out my faith, you know, in a clear way… But also being part of a community of really awesome people, you know, people who are looking at the world in a way that makes sense even when stuff seems insane around us, and you know, and just getting to be with people who are doing something pretty bold. So yeah, I think living my values and being part of a community are the best consequences for me.

Erica: All right, so we did get a couple of, a few questions and comments from our audience. And so, Carol says, “I started being a WTR in 1976 and I’m glad to see young people still taking that on. Do you know anyone in the Washington D.C. area who wants to get D.C. area war tax resisters going again? Need young blood.” Anybody know any war tax resisters in D.C.?

Lida: Sure, I mean, I think there’s a lot of community involved in Baltimore that’s been really active. I feel like there’s been a lot of like, collective projects, I think there’s like a house collective, a house that was bought collectively there that we had kind of looked at as a model for New York cause it’s like another really expensive real estate area. But yeah, D.C. would be the awesomest place for that to happen, cause it’s right where I guess, is that’s where our IRS money goes? I don’t even know. Is that where it’s collected? But yeah, I think one of the funny, I’m going to share one of the funny stories of something that I think they did in the 60s or 70s or something like that. Some protest outside of Chicago was it, and they were like yeah, I’m going to file our taxes today, and they created this big wooden board and then like took a saw at it and filed away at it in front of the capitol house. I thought that was a great protest. Maybe something like that would draw eyes to what you’re trying to do and bring people in, because I mean I found that hilarious so I’m sure other people would find that hilarious too.

Erica: Yeah, actually, that’s one of my favorites, Karl Meyer, and Brad Lyttle, and Kathy Kelly did that in Chicago, yeah, that’s one of my favorites. All right. So let’s see, we’ve got another question here from Robert Randall, “Thank you all so much. Makes me more hopeful. Glad to have met some of you at past NWTRCC meetings. Will any of you be in San Diego?” I’m going to be in San Diego, I don’t know about anybody else. [pause] Aw, sadness, well, all right, I’ll see you in San Diego, Robert. And our last question is, “Do you try to persuade other people to resist taxes? If so, what methods do you find persuasive?”

Ari: I don’t try to persuade other people. I tell other people what I do and I think, you know, I’m very open with my community, my friends, about my war tax resistance, and ultimately I think you know, it’s a personal choice, you know, what people feel comfortable with. I think especially since what I, my form of resistance is not legal, you know, I think that scares a lot of people if you own property, or if you have kids, there’s a lot of other risks to think about that I don’t have to worry about as a single non-parent non-property owner. But you know, I, what I talk about, I try to make it accessible, I talk a lot about how war tax resistance can be different things for different people and even resisting 50 cents is an act of resistance and that’s important and that’s necessary, and I try to make it accessible for people and let them know that what’s, we brought this up earlier, what’s really great about this community is that there’s so many different ways of doing it and so many different things and there can really be something that works for you, so if you can’t resist 100%, but you know, you believe in it and you want to resist just a dollar, like you’re still a war tax resister, and that still matters and I try to make that really clear to people that there’s not, that being a 100% resister does not make you more of a resister than a $1 resister, like, everyone’s part of the movement and everyone’s important in the movement, and I think that’s really the most important thing to get out there.

Lida: I also don’t try to convince anybody. It comes up in conversation, especially sometimes around tax season. I sometimes, I’m not that forthcoming about it sometimes, I think, because I feel like I don’t have the best strategies maybe to offer, that I’m not always like super forthcoming that I’m a war tax resister. And also, like, I feel like war tax resistance is also just like part of a broader economic resistance too, so I realize that – I make community loans too, and I never grouped it under war tax resistance, you know, and so I don’t think that I talk about these issues based upon one or two tactics of war tax resistance or whatever, or whatever you do, and also since it’s like such a, kind of like a personal choice for me, it’s coming from a very specific personal history, and like specifically how war has impacted my family, I guess I don’t always think it would make sense for everybody. And ultimately think it’s up to everybody to decide how they see this thing and see their participation or not in it. I guess when it does come up, I’ve talked about some of the kind of like kneejerk reactions that people have, I think like most, the most important thing has been for me to emphasize how I redirect money and just like talk about how I make those decisions and it’s like, as much of a process and [inaudible] and why I like it.

Katherine: I have to figure out kind of the line between everybody needs to make their own choice about this stuff and also just knowing part of what I’m doing is wanting to be visible, wanting to tell everybody, hey, we don’t have to just do what the government says all the time, you know, just because they want to have a war doesn’t mean we have to participate in it in every way that they’re trying to get us to…

Erica: All right, and that comes to the end of our question list. I want to thank so so much our panelists Ari and Katherine and Lida for being here today, and sharing their stories. is really inspiring to me to hear what you all are thinking and to see you all since the last time I saw you. So thanks for being here and for those of you who are watching, if you would like more information on war tax resistance, you can go www.nwtrcc.org or search for “National War Tax Resistance” on Google and you will find us right there at the top. So thank you very much everyone for being here and have a great evening.