I carried my “Refuse to Pay Taxes” sign at a march to “welcome” the president to NYC and the UN the other day. The sign listed various reasons to refuse: family separation, ICE, border wall, hate, war. Can’t say anyone asked me about it. Maybe one of them wrote down the NWTRCC website? Maybe they searched the internet about refusing to pay taxes? Maybe they resist?
Not sure there were any other signs about what people’s taxes are up to during this time when so many are out in the streets protesting pretty much everything that the current administration is doing. I was thinking back to that period after the election, through the inauguration, and the first months of this administration when war tax resisters were getting all kinds of inquiries about how to resist. Do we have any way to know how many acted on that initial interest?
At minimum I like to think that there are lots of people finding ways to lower their taxable income on the 1040. Maybe there are lots of younger folks who are turning away from big salaries and living simply, owing little or nothing in taxes. On the other hand, I just looked at a chart of federal revenues, and it shows income tax revenue steadily increasing year-to-year.
I gave out war tax resistance information at the Anarchist Bookfair here in NYC a few weeks ago, and a number of people did ask what to do about taxes taken directly from their paychecks through withholding. They left with Practical #1, so I hope they follow through.
Nevertheless, the millions around the world who turned out for the Climate Strike on September 20 was encouraging, and there were signs like the ones on this page — held by people our War Resisters League group doesn’t know! The number of signs connecting war and climate change were few, but they were there and, like our group’s, they were well received.
We also handed out a flyer to passersby or anyone who asked (and a lot of people asked). The text is based on an excellent article on The Intercept website by Murtaza Hussain, “War on the World Industrialized Militaries Are a Bigger Part of the Climate Emergency Than You Know.” That article references a recent study by the Cost of War project and the Pentagon’s fuel use and climate change.
One other useful source is the National Priorities Project, which has good facts and figures regarding military spending and the shifts that could be made to fund programs to slow climate change.
I guess there is resistance at some level of the climate change movement to connect these issues, perhaps fearing that talking about ending war will throw a wrench into the whole thing, but I think we have to go with the slogan that encompasses it all:
— Post by Ruth Benn