NWTRCC War Tax Resistance Gathering – May 2024

NWTRCC’s spring 2024 gathering was back on Zoom (3-5 May 2024). On Friday evening, over thirty people joined us for a Social Hour where we twice broke out into smaller groups of five or six and had an opportunity to meet new people and touch base with old friends.

On Saturday morning, forty-five people attended a session with two war tax resistance groups that organized after the invasion of Gaza in 2023: We the People and the Tax Resistance Collective. After the invasion, Nick & June of We the People started talking about what they could do to address the situation and began promoting war tax resistance as a method for urging radical reforms in United States governance and defunding endless wars. In addition to war tax resistance, the group also focuses on labor, consumer, and voting resistance.

Lex and Leila spoke for the Tax Resistance Collective. They were previously a community organizing group in New York before they also started promoting war tax resistance. In addition to helping to organize local mutual aid programs, they promote war tax resistance as a method of divesting from the state. Their goal is the abolition of the United States and US imperialism.

In the early afternoon, forty people joined us for a session on Simple Living. The session was led by Mary Sprunger-Froese, a long-time war tax resister from Colorado Springs and Daniel Woodham, a long-time war tax resister in Kingston, New York. Mary emphasized the importance of relationships in living a more simple life. Without “community in some form,” she does not believe she could have lived so simply. She also shared that simple living is not simple. It requires planning and flexibility.

Daniel spoke about the relationship we have with money. He also spoke of how his simple living changed from the time he was a young single man to being older with a partner and a child. At different points in his life, he has dumpster dived, hitch hiked, bartered, and used alternative currencies.  One of the reasons that Daniel eventually started farming was to have access to good food.

After another short break, thirty-five people joined us for a session on retirement. This session featured two war tax resisters who have taken different paths on saving for retirement: Peter Smith from South Bend, Indiana and Clare Hanrahan of Asheville, North Carolina. Peter shared strategies about saving for retirement while at the same time lowering one’s tax debt. During his working life, Peter and his spouse always owed taxes and were collected on from time to time. He employed many of the strategies he shared to lower his taxable income. He discussed various retirement contribution options, health savings accounts, and Obamacare as methods to lower one’s taxable income.

Clare was radicalized against war after losing family in Vietnam. She shared how she grew up in involuntary poverty, but later chose to live simply as an enriching though arduous path. Simple living was a way to divest from our oppressive state, though she also realizes that this is never fully possible. In the end, mutual aid and frugal living has been her savings account.

In the early evening, we ended the day with concurrent War Tax Resistance 101 & 201 sessions. Over ten people joined NWTRCC Outreach Consultant Chrissy Kirchhoefer for an overview of war tax resistance that led to a fruitful discernment among attendees about what methods they wanted to explore. The 201 session was attended by seventeen people. NWTRCC Coordinator Lincoln Rice facilitated the session, noting current IRS trends and addressing concerns from those in attendance.

On Sunday morning, we had our obligatory Sunday business meeting. NWTRCC’s consultants provided their reports and we also went over finances. With the conclusion of that meeting, Erica Leigh & Lindsey Britt finished their three-year terms on NWTRCC’s Administrative Committee and we welcomed Nick Lancellotti and Patricia Kirkpatrick to that committee. The minutes for the meeting can be found here.

This was a wonderful online conference where we were able to hear voices that we would not have been able to hear if we had met in person. Though by meeting online, we missed out on those wonderful conversations that happen between sessions and over meals. Between all the different sessions, about 75 people attended some portion of the conference. Mark your calendars! Our next conference will be the weekend after election, November 8-10, 2024. It will probably be on Zoom unless we receive an invitation from a local group in the near future.

Post by Lincoln Rice

2 thoughts on “NWTRCC War Tax Resistance Gathering – May 2024”

  1. Larry Bassett says:

    It seems like online meetings are here to stay and hybrid online/in person meetings are harder to manage, but maybe something to continue to consider an evaluate. This kind of general overview of the past meeting by the NWTRCC coordinator, might facilitate even greater attendance in the future at online meetings.

  2. Esme says:

    Great summary. I loved attending. Great work folks.

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