Next week we will be meeting in West Harrison, New York for NWTRCC’s November gathering! You are invited : here are the links for in person registration or online registration and the schedule for the weekend of November 3-5. As has been the case for over 40 years with so much occurring around us, the primary focus of the weekend will be celebrating war tax resistance as an action that can best be done in solidarity with others.
The schedule will include some perennial topics such as nuclear weapons and their impacts, corporations that profit from militarism as well as the persistent question of how do we get the message of war tax resistance to a wider audience. We will be having a discussion about what was left out of the movie Oppenheimer and looking at the increasing danger of nuclear war. This week the Russian parliament de-ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which the US signed but never ratified. In recent weeks it has been reported that the US conducted nuclear weapon tests and is preparing for additional underground testing that it has called “tickling the dragon’s tail.”
Discussion throughout the weekend will include the numerous wars and preparations for war that are being paid for with US taxpayer money. The Biden administration recently proposed a $105 Billion budget that includes: $61.4 Billion for Ukraine (more than half of that would go to providing weapons and ammunitions for Ukraine via defense contracts and replenishing US stockpiles), $14.3 Billion for Israel (the majority of the taxpayer money would go towards defense contracts, facilitating the transfer of weapons and ammunition from US stockpiles to Israel in various forms including support of Iron Dome and other missle defense systems, precision guided munitions kits that assist regular bombs into ‘smart bombs’ and generalized artillery shells), $13.6 Billion for border security (that would pay for more border patrol officers, judges and shelters), $9.15 general lump sum for humanitarian aid for Palestinian, Israeli and Ukranian civilians and $7.4 Billion for Taiwan and allies in the Indo-Pacific (over $3 Billion towards US submarine construction and $2 Billion for developmental assistance and $2 Billion for foreign military financing.) ((Soon we are going to be talking about real money ;))
While this remains a proposed budget, those poised to benefit the most are weapons manufacturers especially the top 5 who have all moved their world headquarters outside of the Pentagon in recent years. Saturday will feature a discussion on the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal that will be taking place online the following weekend. For months this group has been collecting testimonies of the impact of the weapons manufactured by a handful of US corporations on people throughout the world. Biden’s proposed budget appears to be a harbinger of additional war profitterring at the cost of life on this planet. This insane loop has led to the Pentagon pouring the leftover weapons of war to be funneled into our communites through the 1033 program and the 1122 program which has even been too much for some police departments that they have donated some of their excesses to the army in Ukraine.
Even though not on the official schedule, I am sure there will be discussion of the war in Israel and Palestine that has been made possible with over $3.8 Billion in US taxpayer money going to Israel annually. A NWTRCC blog a couple months ago has a lot of links including a short video by American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) on US weapons transfers to Israel as well as an interactive map of US funding to Israel by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and how that money could be invested in local communities.
These times are quite challenging. We hope you can join us for at least part of the weekend. We will also include some celebration: what would have been Juanita Nelson’s 100th Birthday, what is War Resisters League 100th anniversary and being together as NWTRCC community. You can find registration here.
Post by Chrissy Kirchhoefer