Bringing War Tax Resistance to Campaign Nonviolence and UN International Day of Peace!

During the hot dog days of August, I am kept busy prepping for the dedicated Week of Actions around the UN Day of International Peace on September 21.  Peace folks in San Diego have been part of the national actions for the past 4 years, including the Peace Resource Center of San Diego and the Franciscan Peace Connection.  Big shout-out to Pace e Bene for dreaming up Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions as a time of focused, united local actions to spread a culture of nonviolence.  It has grown from 200 to 2600 actions – a sign of the people’s movement. This year, the focus is on real climate action. I usually enjoy the busy work in anticipation of the […]

Loving Life on the Margins: An Interview with Suzanne Belote Shanley & Brayton Shanley

Earlier this year, Suzanne Belote Shanley & Brayton Shanley published a book about the history of the Agape Community, which they cofounded in 1982 in Ware, Massachusetts. The community is dedicated to prayer, voluntary simplicity, and gospel-centered nonviolent witness. War tax resistance has been a core aspect of the community from its founding. The book, Loving Life on the Margins, is not only a history of the community, but also the autobiography of Suzanne & Brayton. They were kind enough to be interviewed by NWTRCC to discuss their lives and the Agape Community.   What was your initial motivation for becoming war tax resisters? We were becoming an active part of the peace movement of the late 1970’s which was […]

War, conscience, and war tax resistance as a movement

demonstration photo war tax resisters

Maybe because I was in Massachusetts over the weekend, the Colrain house seizure story from 1989 – 1993 was on my mind today. And then I remembered something I had neglected to do, which was to post a talk by longtime war tax resister and Massachusetts resident Larry Rosenwald. Larry was a panelist at the 25th anniversary Colrain reunion in November 2018. The panel topic was “The impacts Colrain might have had on the national WTR movement and thoughts on the current state of the WTR and the peace movement.” By “Colrain” we mean not just a house seizure, but the four years of organizing, vigils and civil disobedience at the seized property under the banner “It’s wrong to confiscate […]

Negotiations Continue for FY 2020 Defense Bill

As this Blog is being prepared for publication conferees from the US House of Representatives and Senate are in negotiations finalizing the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The $733 billion House version was passed along party lines — 220 to 197 — with Republicans united in opposition to the legislation. For the past six decades the defense bill has traditionally been a bipartisan effort, but this year there has been more debate about what can be included in military spending as well as curtailing the executive branch’s ability to declare war.  The Trump administration’s escalating tensions with Iran have given added urgency to war authorization powers. Last month, the president said he did not believe he required […]

On the Streets with XR

On Saturday, June 22, Extinction Rebellion NYC organized small group discussions in a midtown Manhattan park, followed by a march to take the message of “climate emergency” to the media – in this case directly to the headquarters of The New York Times. Many have heard of Extinction Rebellion (XR) now, which started with large actions in London, blocking bridges to demand decisive action from governments on the environmental crisis. The UK group describes XR as an international apolitical network using non-violent direct action to persuade governments to act on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. In the U.S., XR has added a fourth demand: “We demand a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and indigenous sovereignty; establishes reparations […]

Mennonite Church Peace Tax Fund

A new alternative fund that will be available to any U.S. Mennonite at their local church is being proposed at the biannual convention of the Mennonite Church USA in Kansas City on July 4. War tax resistance alternative funds began in the late 1960s as a way for resisters to pool the thousands of federal tax dollars resisted because of the Vietnam War. Alternative funds serve the following purposes: Hold resisted taxes in escrow until the government allows taxpayers to pay taxes without any of that money going to war (through, for example, the Peace Tax Fund Bill). Provide potential security of funds from seizure by the IRS. (Since all deposits are held in one common account under an organization’s […]

The Picket Line 2019 Annual Report on Tax Resistance by David Gross

pay no war tax chicago graphic

Picket Line Annual Report (For the Full Article by David Gross, including the detailed 1040: A Walkthrough click here.  Links to previous Picket Line articles can be accessed by  clicking on the “♦” symbols.) Tax Resistance Sixteen years ago, on 19 March 2003, the U.S. began its “shock and awe” attack on Iraq. For me, this was the last straw and so I started what I then called “an experiment” in tax resistance so that I would no longer feel as complicit.♦ My goal was to stop financially supporting the U.S. government. I hoped at first to do this legally by lowering my income below the federal income tax line, so I quit my job to start my own small business and I began […]

Military Members Speak Out On Memorial Day

Image of a person with a gun on the left and a human head with a gas mask on and the word War Huh! What is it good for?

This year at Memorial day, Veterans were sharing their stories about war, their time in the military and how the military has impacted both physical and mental health. While Memorial Day has been a holiday commemorating those killed and  forever silenced by war, Veterans who survived wars were talking about their experiences over the weekend. Many people involved in the military and those close to them were speaking publicly about the horrific experiences of war after the Army asked how the military has influenced them on Twitter.  On Memorial Day, a story was released about Atomic Soldiers who, for many spoke about their exposure to atomic weapons after 50 years earlier.   The Atlantic shared a short documentary, The Atomic Soldiers […]

Demand Divestment — them and us

Outside a fancy hotel in Midtown Manhattan a crowd of us held “Divest from the War Machine” signs to greet shareholders of BlackRock, who were arriving for their annual meeting. The demonstration was organized by CodePink NYC in conjunction with CodePink’s national divest campaign; there were actions in other cities too. BlackRock is some kind of big investment company that most of us probably don’t deal with directly, but they influence our lives. CodePink has targeted them as the top investor in weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. We were there to remind shareholders that their choices underpin the production of weapons used in military strikes around the world, resulting in the deaths […]

NWTRCC’s Adventures in DC with Code Pink and John Bolton’s War Making

Yellow button with words "No to War & Racism- HANDS OFF IRAN- Neighbors for Peace. org

When NWTRCC originally reached out to members of Code Pink to share a report back from their recent delegation for our May meeting in Washington DC, we could not have been fully aware of the timeliness of the situation in Iran and the rapidly changing US policy. Code Pink, co- founder Medea Benjamin shared her reflections of the 28 member delegation in March. She shared stories of some of the 80 million Iranian people who have been suffering under increasingly crippling sanctions as well as an increasing threat of war. As NWTRCC members were wrapping up our gathering in Washington DC and joining in support of some members of Code Pink at the Venezuelan embassy, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier […]

War Tax Resistance Conference in DC

We had a delightful NWTRCC gathering in Washington, DC this past weekend. I want to start with a HUGE thank you to the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, who hosted folks who needed beds, hosted some of our weekend activities, and helped many of us make it down to the Venezuelan Embassy after our business meeting on Sunday. Thanks also to those who helped with food. Here are some of the highlights, in my humble opinion: Friday evening was supposed to begin with a report back from Code Pink activist Paki Wieland on her recent trip to Iran. Paki and other activists have been staying at the Venezuelan Embassy since it was officially turned over to them when Venezuelan diplomats who […]

Musings After A WTR Presentation

I did a presentation about war tax resistance before tax day to an antiwar section of the local DSA group, Democratic Socialists of America, a group that has grown like wildfire since the 2016 Bernie campaign. I gave a broad overview of the reasons, history and methods of war tax resistance, and we had a good amount of time for questions. I neglected to write up some notes during or after the session, but a few things that came up that still rattle around in my brain. There were definitely people in the room who were interested in war tax resistance, or tax resistance in general, for personal reasons — thus the invite to speak. But like many activists, they […]