[Editor’s Note: In early November, activists Nick Lancellotti & June Johnson reached out to NWTRCC to find out more about war tax resistance and have since launched a tax strike campaign for this coming tax season. This post shares what they are working on.]
Now, more than ever, it is clear our government has no intention of instituting or maintaining lasting peace anywhere in the world, including within its own borders. In cities, towns, and college campuses across the US we have witnessed a supposedly democratic leadership impose its iron will with alarming force upon our collective voice – one hand squeezing our throats, with the other hand aiming a rocket at Gaza… when it isn’t raiding our pockets!
Driven by a righteous anger in the wake of the atrocities of October 7th and its genocidal aftermath, we have been researching and learning more about war tax resistance, inspired by the movement’s advocacy, commitment to ethics, and deeper understanding of our economic complicity. We see incredible potential in war tax resistance as an avenue for change, especially when coordinated with other mass economic protests, if we can elevate to a national scale.
Despite continued censorship and violence, the relentless outpouring of love and revolution from all corners of the world in support for Palestinian freedom has harshly illuminated the ethical realities of paying for war and how even our comfort and luxury products perpetuate genocide. Because of the tireless and heroic work of generations of activists and truth-seeking journalists on the ground, we have bore witness to the silent genocides in The Congo, Sudan, Haiti, Yemen, Ethiopia, and many others taking center stage, awakening us to the fractured state of our humanity.
The pattern we’ve observed developing online is more and more people asking the critical questions: what is my money funding and who is handling it? We are confident that NOW is the time to escalate our activism and go all in on something BIG, especially with widespread calls for a general strike and a history-defining Presidential election looming around the corner.
Our goal is to persuade 50 million Americans to participate in a Tax Blackout this April 2024 by refusing to pay at least 5% of their income taxes and donating that money to community-building organizations and emergency relief for Gaza. Otherwise, we are asking people to not pay whatever additional amount they would owe after filing and prepare their W-4s for long-term resistance. Studies have shown that by mobilizing just 3.5% of the population, demands for change are more likely to be answered. We understand 50 million people, about 16% of the population, is an ambitious goal, but if we are to stall the march of the Capitalist Death Machine long enough for us to dismantle it cog by cog, we must present a more united front and show up fiercely for each other.
That being said, we look to members of the NWTRCC for guidance and are relying on your decades’ worth of experience and activism to help #SpreadTheWord by being as vocal as you can online and in your network about the upcoming Tax Blackout and war tax resistance in general. Engage with and educate Gen Z voters who have been among the most receptive to the war tax resistance messaging, are more likely to share content, and are already voting at higher rates than all prior generations with a notably progressive lean. Volunteer to become a Resistance Counselor if you haven’t already – June and I will be taking the 5-hour virtual course offered by NWTRCC in the next few months, and we hope to meet some of you there! Continue to promote and share NWTRCC posts, media, and events using the hashtags #TaxBlackout, #TaxBlackout2024, #SpreadTheWord, #NWTRCC, and #StopFundingGenocide.
Finally, you can download the app Geneva and request to join the group “We The People” for a safe space to educate, organize, and mobilize. Fittingly named after the Conventions, Geneva was borne out of a need for an easy-to-use, all-in-one, bot- and troll-free online forum that allows for non-censored conversations about what we, The People, care about, away from the watchful eyes of Meta and Big Tech.
We have curated breakout chat rooms where people can ask questions about anything from fears surrounding tax resistance to which companies to boycott. The app also has built in video chat capabilities for quick check in meetings with a small group or longer, more informative Town Halls. At the moment, we are limiting group membership to whoever has the link in order to prevent against outside infiltration and mischief (like we have seen time and time again at protests for BLM across the country).
If you would like to be a part of this growing coalition, please contact either Nick or June at the emails and Instagram accounts below and we will forward you the link – make sure you include that you found us through this NWTRCC post!
In closing, we are overjoyed from seeing how much online support for war tax resistance and the NWTRCC has grown since our first call with Lincoln back in early November, from just over 1,200 followers on Instagram to now almost 7,000, and TikTok viewership in the tens of thousands. We know there is still much work to be done in a very short amount of time, but with your help, we are confident our efforts, in conjunction with all the other concurrent social justice movements, will prove fruitful.
We humbly and enthusiastically join you in fighting for a future where peace is priceless, and we look forward to ushering in a bright, equitable, and safer tomorrow for all.
In solidarity, Nick & June
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for all general inquiries and requests to join We The People on Geneva, and follow us on Instagram @wtp.resist for more updates.