Originally, our November 2020 conference was going to take place in Colorado Springs. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the decision to meet online using Zoom instead. (Though I would like to thank Mary Sprunger-Froese and Rick Bickhart, who had put time and energy into the original planning of the conference.) If we had been able to meet in person, we might have seen some beautiful vistas. As it was, almost everyone had wonderful weather while we met online and some folks took their computers outside their homes during our conference.
NWTRCC’s second online conference was a success. (Though to be clear, NWTRCC has had an online component to its conferences that allowed folks who were offsite to join us for quite a few years now.) About 50 folks signed up for the conference and 42 attended at least some portion of the conference. We had folks joining us from Seattle to Georgia, from San Diego to Houston, and even folks from both Portlands (Oregon and Maine).
Friday Night Social Hour & Saturday Conference Sessions
The conference began on Friday evening (November 6) with a “Social Hour.” This was an opportunity for folks to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. We used Zoom’s “breakout room” feature to break into random groups of five for thirty minutes. After the thirty minutes was over, we broke out into random groups of five a second time.
On Saturday morning (November 7), we began the day with concurrent sessions of War Tax Resistance 101 & War Tax Resistance 201. We had six folks at our WTR 101 session and 25 folks at our WTR 201 session. For people would are willing to be war tax resistance counselors, will be offering a war tax resistance counselors training in January 2021. If you would like to attend, email the NWTRCC office.
In the early afternoon, we held a strategizing session, which attendees broke out into groups to discuss the relevant role of war tax resistance in following four areas: (1) four years of a Biden presidency that has not plans to curb military spending, (2) Defund the Police, (3) COVID-19, and (4) the climate crisis.
The ideas generated from this session have already been discussed at our monthly outreach committee meeting. The thought at the moment is to incorporate some of these ideas into a war tax resistance campaign leading up to Tax Day 2021. More details to come…
Saturday evening, resisters from Colorado Springs shared their stories of resistance within a supportive community. Military installations currently boarder the north, south, and east of the city. An interesting fact that I learned during this session was that the militarization of Colorado Springs only began during World War II and afterward.
Sunday Business Meeting
The conference finished on Sunday morning with our business meeting. (The business meeting minutes will be posted within the next few weeks.) At this meeting, we approved our 2021 budget and objectives. We also passed “standing endorsements” for School of the Americas Watch and Witness Against Torture. (A standing endorsement means that the Coordinator does not need to receive future network approval to endorse the actions and events of a group.) Lastly, proposals regarding the updating of our logo and statement of purpose were discussed, no consensus was reached. A few folks volunteered to work on improved proposals for our next meeting.
Our Next Conference…
Our next conference will be April 30 to May 2, 2021. Our current plan is that this conference will once again be fully-online with the hope of returning to a physical site for our November 2021 conference. We’ll keep you updated. Thanks to everyone who attended the conference and made it such a success. I was delighted to see so many new faces along with faces I had not seen in a while.
Post by Lincoln Rice