National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

NWTRCC Gathering • New York City • November 1–3, 2013

All photos by Ed Hedemann. [click on photos to enlarge]

Poster of Dorothy Day War tax gathering at Maryhouse, NYC
On Friday night our dinner and program were held at Catholic Worker's Maryhouse in the East Village. Dorothy Day watched over the events from a large poster on the wall. Daniel Sicken (r) from Vermont helped to get the weekend going with music on the first night of the Gathering.
Serving dinner at NWTRCC gatheirng Peter cleans up
Carol and Sylvia serving up dinner to Peter and
Jason. Hmm, looks like we need some gender
role re-education here.

Ok, that's better. Peter is helping with clean
up and dishes.

Dining Post dinner caht
Greg and Jon (left) enjoyed their dinner. There was lots of animated conversation throughout the weekend, beginning with (l to r) Joffre, Jim, Paula, and Jerry.
Introductions at Maryhouse Learning about Catholic Worker
A round of introductions started off the evening program in the auditorium at Maryhouse. (l to r) Ruth and Erica listen as Joanne tells the group about the Catholic Worker community and Maryhouse. Dorothy Day ended her days in this historic (because of the community) building.
Economic Disobedience panel Andrew RossTaleigh Smith Tom Gogan
The panel on Economic Disobedience (l to r): Andrew Ross, Strike Debt; Tom Gogan, US Labor Against the War; Taleigh Smith, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, Joanne Kennedy, Catholic Worker. The presentations covered the politics of student debt and the potential power of a debtors' union and collective action to change the "creditocracy" system (Andrew Ross); considering labor unions were formed out of economic disobedience (labor vs. capital), often with immigrant workers, there is built in resistance if workers are going to get any justice (Tom Gogan); campaigns need more than civil disobedience – if no one knows about it does it matter - media strategy is essential, and if we resist to end war and have not ended war then we should ask what is the strategy to reach our goal (Taleigh Smith); we need a college level curriculum about how students will be “debt slaves,” and that it is possible to forge a path that is different; through our stories we can show that a trail has been made (Joanne Kennedy). More details to come soon....
Jason and others talk after panel     Erica and Lida
The Economic Disobedience panel inspired many conversations after the formal program ended. The next morning small groups continued the discussion, which was just as animated.
East 6th Street Community Center meeting room Ruth starts off the meeting
Karl Meyer from Nashville Greenlands has his
arms in action during the opening session on
Saturday morning at the 6th Street Community
Center in Manhattan.

NWTRCC Coordinator Ruth Benn goes over the day's agenda.
 Ginny gestures Subway map
Making an important point. A good part of the weekend is spent figuring out how to get from one place to another.
Dinner at the NWTRCC office Paula showing video
Ruth Benn and Ed Hedemann hosted the Saturday dinner in a crowded kitchen. (right photo) Paula Rogge (left front) showed some clips of recent interviews at the New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters in Vermont in September. As usual, technology did not cooperate so we had to show the footage on the laptop.

Taking up a collection

Erica made a plug for much needed funds to keep the work of NWTRCC going. The business meeting on Sunday morning struggled with some tough decisions around new ideas like a traveling speaker while the budget is showing a deficit. That project needs more planning, although we all agreed that the added investment in outreach is important. Erica is the Social Media Consultant to NWTRCC, and the group did add 5 more hours to her work. Beginning December 1 she will work 10 hours a week. Ruth Benn is cutting her hours to 20 per week and will continue handling administrative tasks, counseling and technical information, network coordination, the newsletter, etc. Erica's work will focus on online outreach and online fundraising. Among other things we agreed to use the NWTRCC list to get out a one-time mailing for a small group that wil start a new WTR Penalty Fund — a much needed service in our network. The Fund will help cover penalties and interest seized from war tax resisters by the IRS. A structure for the group is developing. Lots more happened and detailed minutes will be linked soon.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the weekend a success! We are grateful to everyone at Maryhouse for their hospitality; to each panelists; to our shopers and cooks including Melissa, Daniel W, Jim, Carol, Sylvia, Laura Marie, Greg, Daniel S - and anyone else left out; to those who offered housing including Carol, Linnea, Betty, Sylvia, Greg, Walter, Carla, Maryhouse, Ed; and to 6th Street Community Center for the great meeting space.