Redirection and Keeping Track of the People We Owe

Banner of Military spending v Human needs at the farmers market in Eugene OR

April 15th saw Tax Day actions not seen in years. Well at least in 2 years. After Tax Day spread into 3 months in 2020 to finally conclude on July 15th last year, people were eager to come out on April 15th in order to join in a long tradition of holding that day as a stand out day to raise the issue of military spending in the US. War Tax Resisters and those concerned about militarism organize actions in their communities to educate that nearly half of the federal income taxes are devoted to war. April 15th also serves as a day of action to build upon community by investing our energy and resources towards human needs through individual and communal redirection ceremonies.

Line of pickets at IRS NYC

April 15, 2021. Customary band of pickets, NYC. Photo by Ed Hedemann

This year continued to see a mix of online gatherings and in person actions. You can find a list of actions posted at  NWTRCC website under Tax Day Actions as well as international actions mapped out on the Global Days Against Military Spending. The group in Eugene, Oregon has been bringing out a banner that they have made that is to scale of cost comparisons of human needs to bloated military spending. You can watch a short video they shared describing their action. If you have videos or photos to share of actions in April please send them to NWTRCC as we update our Tax Day page. Ed Hedemann captured some irrepressible resisters with the New York War Resisters League outside of the IRS building. 

The May NWTRCC conference spanned three days online this past weekend. We began Saturday with two amazing panels. We heard from panelists focused on nuclear disarmament on how the Entry Into Force of the  has created a great opportunity to call for the end of nuclear weapons and prevent an new generation of nuclear weapons from coming into existence. You can find a link to the panel on NWTRCC’s YouTube Channel here.  The second panel of younger war tax resisters followed. Their articulation of conscientious objection to war will impress. We will share a more detailed report back and links from the conference in coming days.  Thanks to all who attended. It was good to connect with you!

The final day to file taxes this year is May 17th.  The date falls on a Monday following Conscientious Objector Day, May 15th.  There was a clear decision of the the Administrative Committee (Ad Comm) meeting of NWTRCC a few years ago to frame our war tax resistance as a matter of conscientious objection. It was to identify with the long tradition of resistance to war in the US and those who faced prison for their opposition to World War II.  Those pacifists who had taken a principled stance against war continue to guide us as we proclaim that our opposition to war is not simply refusing to engage in combat but also to acknowledge and resist our complicity in paying for it with our taxes. (See a history of Pioneers of the Modern American War Tax Resistance Movement)

Ammon Hennacy

Ammon Hennacy with his active war tax resistance photo from wikisource

Ammon Hennessey often comes to mind around tax day. His public  resistance to war went back to World War I and extended throughout his life. He once said “A pacifist between wars is like a vegetarian between meals.”  David Gross wrote about the principles of Ammon’s ‘one man revolution’ in an earlier blog. The work of  NWTRCC is to dispel the myth that we are resisting war in isolation.  We are actively investing in building community, devoting our energy and resources into real needs around us.  As we focus more on redirection efforts and less on the waste of military spending, we are strengthening the mycelium-like networks. Share with the network any actions you have planned around disrupting the military madness. 

Post by Chrissy Kirchhoefer

2 thoughts on “Redirection and Keeping Track of the People We Owe”

  1. Sue Barnhart says:

    Great blog as always Chrissy! Thanks for giving the link to the video from our tax day action in Eugene, Oregon

    1. Chrissy Kirchhoefer says:

      Sue, Thanks so much for sharing all the inspiring work you all are ding in Eugene. It inspires many!

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