Partnership in a Community Property State

By Matt Niznik; Oakland, California Editor’s note: This is one essay in the newest booklet in our “Practical War Tax Resistance” series. “Relationships and War Tax Resistance” is #8 in the series and is due to be published by January 6, 2016. Copies will be $1.50 each or contact the office for bulk orders. The text will be posted at My partner Rose and I have been together for 32 years, since we met during senior year of college. Although Rose does not define herself as an activist, the movements I was involved in around that time — anti-apartheid, solidarity with Central America liberation, opposing militarism, support for political prisoners in the U.S. — have been and continue to […]

Choosing Solidarity Over Comfort – Ruby Phillips

By Ruby Phillips Time passes quickly, and it’s now been 30 years that I’ve refused to pay for U.S. military wars. I began to resist after a local war tax resistance volunteer attended a meeting at my workplace and introduced us to the practice and underlying philosophy of war tax resistance (WTR). Prior to his presentation, I had never heard of it; since then, I have been empowered by this way of life and cannot imagine returning to the excess obedience and internal denial of paying for war. Not that this journey has been without inconvenience, anxiety or unexpected difficulty. The IRS has emptied three bank accounts; though fortunately they have not been successful in harvesting vast sums from their […]

Redirection Reflection

By Robin Harper I was moved by Bill Ramsey’s eloquent article “Redirection: Our Constructive Program” (MTAP, June 2013) to recount a bit of history. It was back in 1958. I had been powerfully influenced by my participation in activities of Peacemakers and was ready to begin my witness as a WTR. I had met and married my dear German wife, Marlies, in 1953 while doing Alternative Service (Korean War) at the self-help housing project/AFSC workcamp at Flanner House in Indianapolis, Indiana. It needs to be said that Marlies had endured, and survived, living in Germany all during WWⅡ. As she recounted her harrowing experiences to me, for the first time I was gaining an up-close-and-personal understanding of the true nature […]

Better Late Than Never: A Frivolous Filing Success Story

An interview with Jack Herbert by Ruth Benn One thing about dealing with the IRS, it is time consuming. Our network probably needs an award to individuals for hours spent calling, writing, and waiting on the IRS. Jack Herbert in Oregon would be right up there among the nominees. At least his case has a happy ending. Jack learned about war tax resistance back in the early 1980s through Quaker Quarterly meetings in his region. He met John and Pat Schwiebert and Ann and Bruce Huntwork, stalwart Portland peace activists and war tax resisters. For some years he didn’t have to file, but when he started working for the state in the 1990s, he would refuse to pay any tax […]

Being Neighborly

By Lincoln Rice “And who is my neighbor?” A scholar of the law asked Jesus this question, and he responded by sharing the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). The Samaritan (an outsider) aided a victim of a vicious robbery after pillars of the religious community had ignored him. I was taught this story as a second grader in Catholic school, and it remains a vivid memory. Often putting others before ourselves, the teacher told us, was the moral of the story. After being picked up by my mother for the car ride home, she asked the mandatory question: “Did you learn anything in school today?” Most days I responded, “No,” and was probably thinking about trying to get […]

Strength in Community – Peter and Mary Sprunger-Froese

Mary and Peter Sprunger-Froese

By Ruth Benn from an interview on March 9, 2015 Peter and Mary live in Colorado Springs and are part of the Bijou Community, which is an intentional, faith-based community working for nonviolence and social justice. They met when Peter was in graduate school at a Mennonite Seminary in Indiana, and Mary was working with a county home for indigent people. They married, lived in Canada near Peter’s family for six months, then set about looking for a community that combined their desire to work with poor people and with peace­making. “We see those as so connected. War im­poverishes the earth and impoverishes people. It’s just so antithetical to what makes for peace.” They found a small group of kindred […]

More Advantages of Aging

By Redmoonsong Having been a war tax resister most of my life (and doing mostly unwaged work — mother, housekeeper, etc.), the IRS says I only have 27 quarters — not enough for regular Social Security and Medicare. Well, if you wait till you’re 69 like I did, and are poor, disabled or blind, you can qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income). With that comes Medicaid/Medicare/food stamps — the whole ball of wax from the feds. I haven’t had a bank account since 1984. No credit, no phone, no electricity, no water, etc. Now they wanna give me everything. Should I take it? In a quandary about health insurance, I had contacted the local county’s Council on Aging to get […]

War Tax Resistance and Other Paths to a Better World

By Sylvia Metzler In 2014 my taxable income was $11,826 and I got a $41 refund. Too bad! I would like to have withheld some taxes to protest money used for wars and drone killings and budget cuts for education, health care, and environmental protection. I can no longer concentrate my protests only on military spending. These other issues are just as important and are, of course, related. But can you believe that I once supported the Viet Nam War? That I actually believed in the “domino theory” and was a Rockefeller Republican? The pastor of my Presbyterian Church and his wife changed all that—thank goodness—as they took courageous stands against the war and racism. As my indignation rose with […]

21 Years and Still Hanging In There

I began my journey with war tax resistance in 1989 and now, over twenty years later, I am still hanging in there with every bit as much resolve. My conviction that it is wrong for my tax dollars to fund wars to "keep us secure"
remains strong.

Staying In the Way

By Cathy Deppe My first run-in with the IRS was a direct result of refusing the federal excise tax on telephone service, which was increased by President Lyndon Johnson to help pay for the war in Vietnam. Although LBJ said we could have guns and butter too, we would have to pay for both. My husband and I were University of Illinois graduate students, living on next to nothing anyway but both determined our tax dollars should fight a different kind of war – the “war on poverty” Johnson had promised to wage. As conscientious objectors, we were part of a growing movement to resist the war through refusal to fight for it and refusal to pay for it. The […]

Passionate for Peace

By Jason Rawn Aanya Adler Friess has been resisting war taxes since the 1960s. At age 86, she no longer attends meetings on a regular basis, though she lives below the taxable income level. She discusses war tax resistance with activists from the organizations that make up Albuquerque’s Peace and Justice Organizations Linking Arms (PAJOLA), of which she is a founding member. She “stood with Occupy for a while” and works on water issues in arid, militarized (Kirkland Air Force Base, in particular) New Mexico. “It’s wicked what we’re doing,” she says. In the 1970s, Aanya’s WTR work included offering canned goods as payment of her “tax obligation.” “The IRS people were amused, not hostile,” she recalls. She and her […]

A Part of My Identity

Q & A with Rev. Andrea Ayvazian MTAP: Tell us a little about yourself. Andrea: When asked about who I am, how to introduce myself, I fumble around and use some or all of these words – I am the proud mother of Sasha Klare-Ayvazian (now 24); I am a woman of faith, a long-time activist for peace, social justice, environmental sanity, and an anti-racist world; I am an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, a former Quaker, a singer, songwriter and poet. And I am the life partner and long-time fan of Michael Klare, who I admire enormously (Michael is Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College, an expert on global resource politics, and […]