A Sense of Freedom

Marion Bromley (1913-1996) was working for the Fellowship of Reconciliation in the 1940s when she met Ernest Bromley, who was circulating a statement about refusing to pay for war. She and Ernest married not too long after that and made their way to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they lived the rest of their lives. They are two of the founders of the modern day war tax resistance movement. Marion gave the keynote address at the 1991 New England War Tax Resistance Gathering in Voluntown, Connecticut. The following thoughts on WTR came from the last section of her talk, originally called “80,000 Days of War Tax Resistance.” (Note: A longer excerpt of this thought-provoking speech was published in NWTRCC’s More Than a […]

War Resistance Beyond the Rally

We’re holding our second Google Hangout on June 4 at 9 AM Pacific, noon Eastern. Hear from panelists from the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee and two of its affiliates, the Center on Con­science and War and the Nation­al Cam­paign for a Peace Tax Fund, about their ap­proaches to war resis­tance that go be­yond the anti­war march and rally to indi­vidual and col­lective ac­tions to re­sist war. Q&A will fol­low. RSVP on Google Plus. If you don’t have Google Plus, you can watch it live on YouTube.  

Food, friends, and the future of war tax resistance: San Diego reportback

A blazingly hot sunny weekend greeted attendees of last week’s NWTRCC conference in San Diego. The Administrative Committee met on Friday as traveling attendees trickled in to the Peace Resource Center of San Diego, our host for the weekend. Our Friday night dinner potluck was cohosted by the Church of the Brethren, which shares the property on which the Peace Resource Center is located. They regularly hold Friday night potlucks with the community. Several of us went with Peace Resource Center director Mariah Gayler to the Peace Garden to pick a variety of greens for an enormous salad. After dinner, Robert Randall, Erica Weiland, and Jay Sordean shared their stories of becoming war tax resisters and redirectors and practicing opposition […]

The Health Care Conundrum

Within the war tax resistance network we’ve been following Obamacare for a while, but a tax day article in the New York Times added to my own concerns/suspicions/disgust about the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known at Obamacare. The article, “Tax Preparers’ New Role: Health-Coverage Advisers,” makes obvious the connection that war tax resisters have been concerned about: the central role of the IRS. Provisions of the law such as the requirement to have health coverage and the management of the subsidies are written into the tax code. Next year’s tax forms will have new lines to track this information. Now it’s not “death and taxes” but “health and taxes,” among other issues. “It’s a […]

Tax Day and Post-Tax Day Media Roundup

Across the country on April 15, 2014, war tax resisters and military spending opponents took to the streets and held events to bring attention to the federal budget and to the damage wrought by war. Read Tax Day event reports from NWTRCC affiliates here. The Brandywine Peace Community held a “War Tax Resistance Then and Now” forum on April 13 which was covered by the Philadelphia Tribune. War tax resister Lida Shao appeared on Democracy Now! VICE published an article by Charles Davis called Don’t Pay Your Taxes. Berry Friesen of $10.40 for Peace offers thoughts on Tax Day from a Christian perspective. War tax resister Ruth Paine’s annual protest got some attention in The Press-Democrat. Seacoastonline.com, “Penny Poll garners […]

Pre-Tax Day Media Roundup

As happens every year in the run up to Tax Day, war tax resistance starts getting more news coverage. Here’s a roundup of recent news and blog posts on the subject: Peg Morton and Susan Cundiff, Using the Tax Return to Protest War (interview on the Jefferson Exchange public radio show) The image isn’t about WTR, but Susan Cundiff also won CodePink’s widely promoted Shareable Images Contest! David Gross, Comprehensive Disobedience: Occupying the Sharing Economy in Spain (on the Spanish tax resistance movement, a sharing-based economy, and implications for US war tax resistance) Jack Payden-Travers, The Tax Dilemma (on choosing to withhold $10.40 annually from his income tax payment) Jack Payden-Travers, Tax Quandary (audio and text of segment on public […]

Economic Disobedience and War Tax Resistance: Reportback from Eugene Event

I was invited down to Eugene, OR to speak about war tax resistance and economic disobedience at a panel last night, hosted by Eugene’s First Methodist Church and organized by Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC), Eugene-Springfield Solidarity Network (ESSN)/Jobs with Justice, Taxes for Peace Not War, and Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND). What a great evening! We had an attendance of 30-40 folks. After a performance by Plaedo, a local poet, I delivered the “keynote” speech on what economic disobedience is, how war tax resistance is economic disobedience, why it’s so important to live in accordance with your conscience and political beliefs, and a little bit about how NWTRCC uses social media. I quoted a bit from David […]

WRL Pie Chart — Escape from Responsibility?

A Distraction from Direct Action? Since the 1970s the War Resisters League’s annual Federal Tax Pie Chart has been a very effective vehicle to channel outrage and protest, by radicals and liberals alike, against U.S. wars and military spending. However, I’ve recently come to realize that all too often the pie chart (as well as similar analyses from FCNL, AFSC, National Priorities Project, and even the OMB) has been used as a means to avoid taking action or, at least, direct action. Having these obscene specific dollar figures and percentages readily displayed can be seductive (even mesmerizing): billions of dollars going to this or that imperialist war or horrible weapons system. Though this can spur people to lobby Congress or the President, generate letters to the editor, and even provide […]

Bringing War Home

When we talk about war tax resistance and why we do it, we tend to focus on the Pentagon and its warmongering abroad. Recently I was doing research for the back of the WRL pie chart and the true horror of weapons of war-come-home really hit me. Doesn’t this picture say it all? The police department in a little Florida town (pop. 5,350) is equipped with an 18-ton Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, designed for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military doesn’t know what to do with its war surplus (how about beating them into plowshares?) so lucky us! This largesse is in part thanks to the Department of Homeland Security, a “second defense department,” and just […]

War Tax Resistance as Self-Care

Last week on Twitter, I saw that David Gross retweeted a message from author Sofia Samatar in which she described war tax resistance as self-care. I was immediately taken with this concept, and while Sofia’s plate was too full to write about it, she gave her blessing for me to run with it! So thanks to Sofia for the inspiration; all thoughts that follow are mine, however. Self-care is a practice of taking actions that heal and rejuvenate ourselves. For some writers, it means relaxing or decompressing from work and activism and family responsibilities – getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, taking time to read a book or watch a movie, or spending quality time with friends and family. For […]

7 Weeks Until #TaxDay !

Tax Day, April 15, is in just seven short weeks. Every year, NWTRCC network affiliates take action to bring attention to the United States’ military budget and to the tactic of war tax resistance (here’s last year’s Tax Day report). Common actions include distributing the War Resisters League’s federal budget pie chart, conducting penny polls, holding events to draw attention to war tax resistance, publicly redistributing resisted war taxes, and protesting at IRS offices. Don’t feel restricted to those types of activities though! If you’re not connected with a local war tax resistance group, check out our list of affiliates or start your own. If you don’t know any other resisters in your area, tabling or handing out flyers only […]

Redirecting Our Money, Time, and Focus from War

Last week in NWTRCC’s Strategy Committee, we discussed war tax redirection, which is a tactic employed by many war tax resisters. The money such resisters refuse to pay to the IRS, they instead “redirect” it to organizations they feel will make better use of the money. (Read more about redirection on our website.) One of the most gratifying things about war tax resistance for many of us is being able to use our money, time, and passion to build a better world right now. If I give my tax dollars to non-profits, I promote and help enact the type of world I want to live in (and depending on my income level and donation amounts, I might reduce my taxable […]