Blog

Redirection and Keeping Track of the People We Owe

Ammon Hennesy

April 15th saw Tax Day actions not seen in years. Well at least in 2 years. After Tax Day spread into 3 months in 2020 to finally conclude on July 15th last year, people were eager to come out on April 15th in order to join in a long tradition of holding that day as a stand out day to raise the issue of military spending in the US. War Tax Resisters and those concerned about militarism organize actions in their communities to educate that nearly half of the federal income taxes are devoted to war. April 15th also serves as a day of action to build upon community by investing our energy and resources towards human needs through individual […]

Funding A Livable Future

Man standing with had upon large tree in middle of photo surrounded by other large trees

We woke up to black smoky air the day after Labor Day 2020.  It was challenging to breathe outside, even with a N95 mask. We could not see the sun. The air quality index was over 500, in the extremely hazardous range. Our beautiful Oregon was burning up. The trails we love hiking and the places we love camping in and many families’ homes were burning. All over the state fires were burning out of control, including along a major highway following the McKenzie River, only 10 miles from Eugene, Oregon, where I live. In some cases folks had less than a 15-minute warning to abandon their homes. Up until the wildfires happened, though we were in the COVID shutdown, […]

“The Customary Band of Pickets”

Line of pickets at IRS NYC

No troublesome incidents of any kind developed in the course of the day, although the customary band of pickets turned up outside the Forty-fifth Street headquarters for an hour at noon. Recruited by members of the Tax Refusal Committee of Peacemakers, of Sharonville, Ohio, were representatives of the War Resisters League, 5 Beekman Place, and The Catholic Worker, 223 Christie Street. They either refused to pay Federal income taxes or sympathized with those who did not because “the huge program of armaments can only lead to a third world war.” Weapons, it was claimed, eat up seven-eighths of the national budget. In Philadelphia, other groups of pacifists objected on the same grounds. Published: March 17, 1953. Copyright © The New […]

Tax Day Press Release – April 2021

NWTRCC friends and supporters, Below is our press release for Tax Day 2021. We now that Tax Day has been officially delayed until May 17, but many groups are still hosting actions or Zoom events around the original April 15 day. Feel free to adjust the press release below for your own use. If you are having a tax day action, but have not alerted the NWTRCC office, please email the details to nwtrcc@nwtrcc.org, or use the online form. As stated in the press release, we are asking war tax resisters to make their presence felt on the streets (if possible) and online. Please take pictures and video of your tax day actions and send us a copy. When posting […]

New Logo for NWTRCC?

For nearly 40 years, NWTRCC’s logo has been a dove on a howitzer gun. At our business meeting on May 2, we might adopt a new logo. I have mixed feelings about moving on from the original logo, but there are compelling reasons for doing so. First, for anyone visiting our website on their phone, the dove is not discernible. If anything, the dove looks like smoke coming out the howitzer gun. Additionally, we are hoping to do a website refresh this summer and it would be good to have a logo that is in color. We had originally planned the website refresh for January, but we were told that we would need another refresh if we changed our logo […]

Questioning Death and Taxes

woman holding pink sign with black text: "Taxes For Healthcare NOT Warfare"

While there has been some comparison of military spending versus medical costs, it seems as though many are less willing to address the issue of societal sickness caused by military spending. It needs to be named, identified, and articulated. And even fewer people refuse to stop paying for death and destruction. At a recent webinar with U.N. officials, the Vatican called for disarmament in light of the health crisis experienced as a result of the coronavirus from a humanizing perspective: “The pandemic offers us a precious opportunity… prompts us to question how much the huge military expenditures are really able to guarantee the security of individual populations, of how much these resources could and should be allocated to investments to […]

Your Rights: Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em

Who wants to hassle with the IRS. Of course it’s a pain in the behind dealing with an agency that ranges from bullying to inefficient to inconsistent in following their own procedures. But, if we want to make a statement about refusing to pay for war, hassles come with the territory and are actually the least of the risks that a resister could face. So I was distressed to read the warning in the last issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter about sending a letter with tax forms which might lead to hassles with the IRS. In a rare success for this form of resistance, we won for the right to send those letters expressing our beliefs, complaints, and reasons for refusal. […]

Military Budget of Little Comfort to Healthcare Workers

The most visible role of the U.S. military in the past year has been the fly overs of extremely expensive military bombers to express appreciation to healthcare workers beginning in May of 2020 and showing up at the Superbowl, typically a big advertising opportunity for the military. Even the sportscaster Joe Buck pointing out the obvious of “That’s your hard earned money and tax dollars at work!” and  questioned the amount of jet fuel used for the flyover. Health care workers sat in place of the cardboard cutouts at the Superbowl in an attempt to alleviate or distract from the tremendous toll taken on health care workers including  93% of health care workers were experiencing stress, 86% reported experiencing anxiety, […]

Can the IRS

“Can the IRS” was one of my favorite actions at the IRS. It was organized by John-Ed Croft, a homeless artist with a creative, activist mindset. This was the fall of 1987, and John-Ed was living in a squat at the time, but had also spent many a night in an unused building in Central Park and a lot of time in what he called a “cardboard condominium” in midtown Manhattan. John-Ed came by the War Resisters League office where I was working to ask for support for his latest campaign. The IRS was after him for more than $11,000 in back taxes, and he had decided to pay them “in the currency of the homeless.” He was organizing the […]

The Graveyards of Empire

Addicted to War book cover with cartoon image of man holding missiles and tanks in his arms

Later this year the U.S. will enter into its 3rd decade of war in Afghanistan. It has been the longest ongoing foreign war in US history with some of those fighting in the war not even born when the US began bombing on October 7th, 2001. In the early years Afghanistan was referred to as “the good war” to distinguish it from the war in Iraq, the “dumb war.” In more recent years both are referenced by their country name with less emphasis on the war and all of the destruction the U.S. has caused. These countries seem to hold a higher concentration of U.S. military bases among the 800 worldwide with the wars serving as justification for more bases […]

A ‘War Story’ and a ‘New Start’: How I learned to Oppose War and Stop Paying for the Bomb

We each come into this work in our own ways. The first war I was aware of was the amorphous Cold War. I did not know much about it other than it was between the U.S. and USSR. I was oblivious of nuclear weapons and the oblivion they could cause to the Earth. How we frame war and the stories we tell greatly impact people’s ability to relate to the stories.   I was reminded that with the 30th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Iraq recently. The anniversary did not register for me at the time of the bombing. I was still in elementary school and my exposure to the war was having a classmate’s sister who was in the […]

Militarism Sinks Social Progress

Tax Day July 2020 NYC

Tax season is here — well, almost, since the IRS announced that filing can start on Feb. 12. Now is the time when many of you start asking War Resisters League when the new pie chart flyer  will be ready. Hopefully you will be making plans for a safe and socially distanced public presence of some sort on tax day 2021, still expected to be Thursday, April 15. As you may recall, tax day 2020 was moved to July 15, and WRL ended up with lots of leftover pie charts because leafleting was limited or curtailed by pandemic concerns. Note that the back of last year’s pie chart was a call to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to mark the 75th anniversary […]