Making War Tax Resistance Visible and Accessible 101

NWTRCC will again be participating in the Campaign Nonviolence Action Week offering a War Tax Resistance 101 session on Thursday September 29 at 8:30p Eastern/ 5:30p Pacific. The webinar will be one of more than 4,570 actions worldwide advocating for peace and nonviolence. Pace e Bene has coordinated the week of actions that begins on International Peace Day (September 21) as recognized by the United Nations for the past 9 years. This year actions will continue to October 2nd, the International Day of Nonviolence. 

We would love for you to share the event with your networks, especially those you have made aware of your war tax resistance and who have expressed interest in learning more. The details and registration for the event can be found here. We are grateful for the opportunity to make WTR more accessible to a wider audience via Zoom. This allows us to be a part of a wide network to engage in peace daily. We in the U.S. have a unique opportunity to resist paying for the carnage of war. Throughout most of the world, many people do not have the opportunity to withhold some of their earnings from the supports of Empire. 

Like with all WTR 101 sessions, we will be talking about motivations, life circumstances, and provide information to all of the questions that go into resisting paying for war. It is always an opportunity to look at WTR from a fresh perspective. I often think of one of the best learnings from a 101 session: that we can continually reassess our relationship to WTR. It is also refreshing to direct others to the many resources in the NWTRCC network in terms of written materials and people available to share their experiences. 

This past weekend, NWTRCC Coordinator Lincoln Rice and I were able to have an in person WTR 101 session at the Midwest Catholic Worker gathering. Eleven people attended the session which was the same size crowd the previous year when Lincoln presented the WTR 101. There has been a 101 session every year for the past 4 Catholic Worker gatherings held amongst the cornfields of Iowa.

It was a great homecoming to be with people in a circle discussing war tax refusal! Collectively we had well over 100 years of experience with WTR amongst us and if we included the people who came later in the session it surpassed 150 years of standing against the IRS and war machine.

Charles Carney and Karl Meyer were present at the discussion and had a lot to add about their journey towards WTR, what sustained them, and different tactics that they have employed over the years. As always, it was refreshing to hear of people’s motivations, life circumstances, and questions about WTR. It was interesting to think about consequences for WTR on business owners and how it may not be advantageous to file separately for certain married couples.

Karl Meyer and Peace House 2.0

Every WTR 101 session allows for those who attend to advocate and spread the word of WTR. Throughout the weekend, we distributed the War Resister’s League Pie Chart, the NWTRCC newsletter, fliers on W-4 resistance, and had many conversations on WTR with those who are resisting or considering it

It helped that Karl Meyer had come in his bright blue Peace House that was present and hard not to notice with the messages on U.S. military spending, foreign policy, and plenty of War Resisters League Pie Charts for distribution.  Karl was eager to give tours of the van explaining how it was outfitted to support his carpentry work that has allowed for his WTR for all these decades. Karl’s creative ways of messaging WTR to the masses continued and was preformed in song at the skit night on Saturday (the song is included at the end.)

It is refreshing after surviving the pandemic and social isolation to be able to once again support one another. Whether in person, telephone, Zoom, or social media, it is good to be reminded of our role in mutual support and to be reminded that we are not alone. The strength of the NWTRCC network continues to grow and there is great cause for celebration in our 40 years and the intent to support each other in our war tax resistance!

 

Post by Chrissy Kirchhoefer 

Compliments of Karl Meyer:

(On October 31, 1969, Halloween Day, Agent Roy Suzuki of the Internal Revenue Service phoned me at my place of employment and graciously demanded payment of taxes, penalties, and interest for the year 1965, part of a much larger tax bill that IRS had been unsuccessfully trying to collect for a number of years. After I said I would not pay, he came over promptly and served my employer with a levy against wages due me at that time, which they honored by deducting $46.60 from my pay. This event inspired composition of the following duet, to the tune of a well-known song from the post-World War II musical South Pacific.  I have sung the lead role at many gatherings, but cannot remember, in order to  credit, the many eminent tax-refusing women who have sung opposite, in the role of Suzuki’s boss.)

SOME ENCHANTED TAXMEN

Some enchanted evening, you may meet a stranger.

You may see him come to you across a crowded room, then pull out his badge, and ask for your wage. If you don’t go along, he will not argue long.

 

He will be a taxman; he will be insistent;

he will bring a levy to place against your wage;

and when he is done, he’ll go back to his boss,

and give a report like this:

 

Suzuki:

Who would believe it? Who would say it’s so?

I found him at Follett’s. I collected dough.

 

His Boss:

Oh, Suzuki, how did you know?

Now that you’ve found him, never let him go.

 

Suzuki:

Forty-six dollars, all for the war;

I’ll go back again soon; I will grab some more.

 

Boss:

Oh, Suzuki, try going slow;

don’t scare him off too fast; don’t let him go.

 

Suzuki:

I have worked so patiently; I have tried so long;

My but that man’s conscience is strong.

 

Boss:

Don’t get sentimental; remember he’s your foe;

Now that you’ve found him, never let him go.

 

Suzuki:

I’ll go back tomorrow, shortly after dawn;

I’ll levy on his wage again, but he will be gone.

 

Boss:

Buck up, Suzuki, don’t let it get you down;

We have lots of agents snooping round the town.

 

Suzuki:

They will never nail him; they’ll never collect;

Why should we waste our time, breaking our necks?

 

Boss:

The war must go on, you know, and we must be paid;

the arms race must be financed, and profits be made.

 

Suzuki:

We will never make it with guys like that Meyer.

Why not quit and go to work; our proceeds would be higher?

 

Boss:

Roy, that’s not the spirit of IRS, you know.

 

Both together:

Once you have found one, never let him go!!!

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