By Joshua Weresch – December 2018
To the War Resisters’ League, Erica Leigh at NWTRCC, Cale Weissman, who wrote a great article on war resistance for The New Republic, the good folks over at Popular Resistance, and, across the Pond, the same at Conscience Online:
Good evening. I hope this finds you all keeping well. My name’s Joshua Weresch; I’m a song-writer and settler, born and living here in Hamilton, Ontario on Anishinaabeg land with my wife, son, and daughters. My wife and I and family are members at Central Presbyterian Church, here in town, and I’ve written a few letters to the governing church body’s newspaper, the Presbyterian Connection, and to my local church, asking that its padres resign, that it take down its national and military regimental flags.
I wanted to write to you and thank each of you for what you’ve done and are doing in the way of war tax resistance. A few years back, I withheld the portion of my federal tax (as a public-school supply-teacher) that was heading toward national defence and re-directed it toward a peace tax fund that was and is being maintained by Conscience Canada. The year after that, the Canada Revenue Agency simply took the amount it was ‘owed’ from my subsequent return’s balance. It slowed things down, which was alright, and I did get a chance to write to the Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, at the time and hear from him how I had to pay income tax and could not re-direct my taxes without the support of a law from Parliament.
I will continue, I believe, to exercise this tactic in the coming year, as the $15-billion arms deal between Canada and Saudi Arabia has not yet been cancelled, at the very least, and we continue, on a national level, to be seemingly unaware of how to ‘love our enemies’. Perhaps it is impossible for institutions to ‘love’ and it can be the province only of persons to love one another, deeply and from the heart.
Keep on writing and fighting and loving and praying for one another, especially for one’s enemies. Thanks, again, for all you’re doing, however small it may seem.