Finding humor in the struggle

"The most interesting man in the world" from the Dos Equis ad says, "I don't always resist taxes, but when I do it's because they fund racist wars."

Do you need a laugh these days? I definitely do. A lot of times, I rely on humor that’s based on things happening in real life. Here are some things that have made me laugh, even if I’m laughing ruefully. The Onion – Military-Industrial Complex Recalls Coming Together After 9/11 this article and video from CBS featuring clips of the comedian and activist Dick Gregory, who passed away in August (potentially NSFW, strong language bleeped) this editorial cartoon on US-funded Israeli occupation by Stephanie McMillan the podcast Politically Reactive with comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu George Carlin’s standup bit, “We like war” (definitely NSFW – language, sexual references!) The Onion – Peaceful Protest Interrupted by Swarm of Aggressive […]

Getting some fresh air

August went by in a flash for me, among unexpected extra work projects (glad to have the extra money), a trip to see the eclipse in Oregon (amazing), keeping up with my activist commitments outside war tax resistance (I think I did a pretty good job), and coping with the daily news of further assaults, physical and psychological, on the safety of marginalized people in this country. There didn’t seem to be much time to breathe. And today I write from the hazy northwest US, where an expected 95-degree day turned out much cooler due to thick smoke from regional wildfires. Ash has been sprinkling down from the sky all day. I’m keeping all the house windows closed to keep […]

Matthew Hoh – From the Military to WTR: Podcast #6

This is episode 6 of the War Tax Talk podcast. Today, we hear former State Department official and Marine Corps officer Matthew Hoh’s speech to the May 2017 NWTRCC gathering in St. Louis, MO. Matt talks how he got into the military, how he eventually left the State Department when he no longer believed in the Afghanistan war policy, his journey to war tax resistance, and what he learned along the way. Matt is an advisory board member of Veterans for Peace and has been a war tax resister for the past three years. He came out publicly as a war tax resister in an article called “I Will No Longer Pay Taxes for War”, after years of speaking out […]

There And Back Again: Organizing on the Road

Sam Koplinka-Loehr, NWTRCC Field Organizer, testified at the Iraq Tribunal on Friday, December 2nd about the costs of the war. Her testimony is below.

Whew! What a trip. Eight days, six presentations, two conferences, nine states & provinces in two countries, 50 hours on the road, and 3,600 miles later! And I am back in Philly. Glad to say it was a rental car with unlimited miles rather than with my 1990 Oldsmobile (even though I would have been looking a lot more fly on the road in the Oldsmobile…). There’s so much to share from my latest war tax resistance organizing trip, I’m not even sure of where to begin. So I’ll share some tidbits and then if you have additional questions, please comment or email me. Most Relaxed Point The first stop of my field organizing trip was perhaps the most peaceful. […]

Resisting Nukes – Then and Now

August 6 and 9, 2017, mark the 72nd anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. War tax resistance spans the nuclear age, and many war tax resisters have been motivated by the horror of those bombings, by the frightening possibility that nuclear weapons will be used again, and by the human and financial costs of the whole process of producing those weapons. In the dangerous moment that we find ourselves today, one of the bravest pioneers of the modern war tax resistance movement, James Otsuka (1921-1984), comes to mind. As with other war tax resisters from the 1940s, he was a conscientious objector during World War II and refused to serve the military in any capacity. For that […]

I Call Bullshit On The Trans Ban

I call bullshit. Trump announced last week that trans people will be banned from serving in the US military. And no I don’t call bullshit on Trump tweeting that trans people are banned from serving in the military. Unfortunately as a trans person in this world, I am not surprised by the constant transphobia and oppression of us at just about every level of our lives. Instead, I am disgusted by the responses. I have spent hours and hours pouring through article after article, and across the board, the media and “progressive organizations” have taken this time to glorify and pinkwash* the military, violent masculinity, and murder. All in the name of “supporting trans people!” And I call bullshit. There’s […]

Memes against war taxes

image of Juanita Nelson speaking, with text of quote: " Is it ever right not to refuse to pay taxes, when that money is used to kill? We stand in danger of making a god of the law. An official decree cannot make a wrong thing right. Must I continue to do harm until the state give me license to stop?"

Images have become an integral part of spreading information online. Often called memes, eye-catching images with some text overlaid can easily spread throughout social media. Memes can introduce a variety of people to activist causes, help people connect to new information, and build a sense of community around a cause. NWTRCC shares memes through our Facebook and Twitter accounts already. And please follow us to see them! But I wanted to put some of those images in a static location, available to anyone, that you can look back to when you need inspiration! Click on any image to view a full-size version; then right-click or tap and hold the image to download it to your computer and reuse as you […]

On Facelifts and Strategizing

I started to write about something else until I ran into the new website for the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund (NCPTF). It looks great! Maybe this facelift will give new life to the decades old legislative campaign to allow conscientious objectors to war redirect their federal income taxes to a special fund for non-military purposes alone. NCPTF is a NWTRCC affiliate, and many people in our network actively lobby for the bill. It’s remarkable how often new people suggest to the NWTRCC office the idea of a legislative campaign and are surprised to hear that such a campaign already exists. More widely, a flurry of articles on this topic appeared when the Supreme Court made the health […]

Celebrating “Civil Disobedience”

sepia-toned picture of the backs of early 20th-century soldiers with text superimposed: "I have heard some of my towns­men say, “I should like to have them or­der me out to help put down an in­sur­rec­tion of the slaves, or to march to Mex­ico, — see if I would go;” and yet these very men have each, di­rectly by their al­le­giance, and so in­di­rectly, at least, by their money, fur­nished a sub­sti­tute. Henry David Thoreau, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" (1849), nwtrcc.org/Thoreau200years

Henry David Thoreau was born 200 years ago on July 12, 1817. His essay, “Civil Disobedience” (1849), has influenced thousands of protesters, war tax resisters, and direct action practitioners over the years. Part of the essay recounts his night in jail as a war tax resister, while other sections call on people to act in their own ways against state violence. Today we celebrate the spirit of “Civil Disobedience,” also sometimes called “Resistance to Civil Government,” or “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.” In the following passages, Thoreau calls us to disobey a state that commands us to kill, enslave, and subjugate – or to pay for others to do the same.   “How does it be­come a man to be­have […]

Resisting alone, then discovering community

image of Morpheus from the movie The Matrix with text overlaid: "What if I told you Trump can't use your money for bombs if you don't pay taxes?"

More people are starting to consider tax resistance against the Trump administration. And many don’t know at first that others are already refusing to pay war taxes! Today, we look back at an 2007 interview with other new resisters. This article was originally published in NWTRCC’s June/July 2007 newsletter.   By Ed Hedemann A 21-year-old dance major and animal rights activist from Flagstaff, Arizona, and a 46-year-old bingo hall operator from Bismarck, North Dakota, might not seem to have much in common. But recently [in 2007] both of them began to refuse their Federal taxes as a protest to the war without knowing that anyone else in the country was doing the same. Most people who become war tax resisters […]

More on IRS collection tactics

In a previous blog post, we reported the experience of one war tax resister that the IRS typically sends two letters before sending the Notice of Intent to Levy (see picture to the left for an example).  This year, however, a few resisters have reported getting only one letter before the Notice of Intent. One resister usually gets three letters before the Notice of Intent, and this year only got one. By sending fewer letters before the Notice of Intent, the IRS gives itself the opportunity to seize money from your bank accounts or wages sooner. But often, nothing happens regardless. If you have gotten fewer (or the same, or more) letters about your 2016 tax bill so far this […]

Tangled Up In Banking

I’ve probably said this before, but it is rather funny how often discussions about war tax resistance lead to questions about banking. If you have a tax debt, having assets is, of course, problematic, and holding that money in an account with your social security number makes it vulnerable to seizure. A no-interest account offers some protection, because U.S. banks report annual interest of $10 or more to the IRS — a direct link back to your bank account(s). If the thought of not earning interest pains you, check out Juanita Nelson’s essay “On Interest” — written a few decades ago but still important food-for-thought. One of the positive side-effects of war tax resistance is that it can lead you […]