Tax Day 2019

Many committed War Tax Resisters held demonstrations in their local communities in the weekend prior to the tax deadline as well as on Tax Day, Monday April 15, 2019. NWTRCC shared a pre tax day press release which included links to the War Resister’s League Pie Chart that was distributed at Tax Day Actions in  communities throughout the US.  The WRL’s pie chart has been an invaluable tool to educate and engage the public that close to half of federal income taxes  (48% for Fiscal Year 2020) is allocated to military related  expenditures.

Tax Day this year also coincided with a Global Call to Action for a week  from Extinction Rebellion (XR) The international movement called for a week of Civil Disobedience to raise awareness of the pending climate catastrophe.  Many local tax groups collaborated with environmental groups to raise awareness of the US military being the largest polluter of the Earth as well as the largest consumer of oil worldwide.

Included here is report backs from various communities making these connections. As with every year, War Tax Resisters employ new, creative tactics to raise awareness of federal spending as well as refusing to participate and redirecting tax monies to their local community needs. The campaign continues…


California

Berkeley

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  • The Northern California People’s Life Fund celebrated Tax Day with a granting ceremony in which they distributed $16,000 in redirected tax monies to 12 organizations. The community then celebrated their time together with a potluck. Susan Quinlan, an organizer of events in the Bay Area also reported Jim Best voluntarily distributing money to the local indigenous land trust to acknowledge living on stolen land. It was a response to Native Americans for a ‘tax on the land’.

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San Diego Area

  • Anne Barron spoke about war tax at the Truth and Poverty tour with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival in San Diego.  Here is a video of the gathering.  The event was the last stop on the Emergency Truth & Poverty Tour.

Chico 

  • In a sort of marathon, Chris Nelson reported that over 400 leaflets in close to 7 hours in Chico, CA. Like many committed War Tax Resisters, the braved the elements, in this case the rain, to share information with the public to raise awareness. Gathered with others, Chris was happily celebrating her  39th year as a WTR.

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Colorado

Colorado Springs

Penny Poll in Colorado Springs, CO [How to do a penny poll.]

  • We gave voters a little sticker that says ‘I vote every day’ and they seemed please to put it on their coats.  We gave voters 10 pennies and 13 categories, so that choices would have to be made and the reality of not enough for everything would be a given.
    Education got twice as much as the 2nd-largest taker – nonviolence research and training; next highest were almost the same: Medicare for all, renewable energy and the environment, food and agriculture, affordable and low income housing. Then came public transportation, veterans benefits, the arts and culture, war and war preparation, refugee services, green new deal, diplomacy and foreign aid (least).
    This was over the noon hour in downtown Colorado Springs on Friday April 12th.

    — Report by Mary Sprunger-Froese with photos by Donna Johnson

Delaware

Wilmington

  • Pacem in Terris Delaware held their Annual Tax Day Military Budget Demonstration at Rodney Square in  Downtown Wilmington

Illinois

Chicago

  •  The War Resister League – Chicago Chapter“Don’t Pay Any War Tax Demonstration” at Federal Plaza downtown.

Indiana

South Bend

  • Michiana Peace and Justice Coalition Annual Tax Day Event

photo by Ellyn Stecker

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North Manchester

  • In the past we have often done a tax day action like a penny poll or
    just holding signs at the post office. This year I made the decision
    to bike in with a sign, Pay Taxes for Peace not for War. but the wind
    made it impossible to hold the sign and bike so i ditched the sign. I
    stood at the bottom of the steps leading into the post office. As each
    customer arrived I pretended to hold a sign and said something like,
    “You can’t read my sign but it says, ‘Pay taxes for peace, not for
    war.'” Only one person responded negatively. Then I would again engage
    each one as they departed. It was a very positive experience.I went on the Saturday before April 15. I was there less than two
    hours but many folks were mailing their tax returns.
    Report from Cliff Kindy

Iowa

Des Moines

  • Tax Day Demonstration, April 15, 2019 in Des Moines, IA

    A petition was available for Iowans to sign leading up to the Rally outside the Federal Building April 15, 2019.  After demonstrating outside on the sidewalk in front of the Federal Building, several took the trip into the Federal Building to deliver the petition to Senators Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley.

    The petition can found here.

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– Participants hold an AFSC banner declaring that the federal budget spends too much on military; outside the Federal Building in Des Moines, IA, April 15, 2019.
  • “Tax Justice, Where Should our Taxes Go? Presidential Candidate Forum” at Northwest Community Center (5110 Franklin Ave). Catholic Peace Ministry, Iowa Citizens Action Network, Progress Iowa, Methodist Federation of Social Action, STAR*PAC, and WILPF Des Moines  invited all presidential candidates to answer three questions,  one focused on reducing military spending, one on climate crisis priorities, and one on shifting the tax burden to the wealthy. The forum included a personal appearance from presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. Bernie Sanders, John Delaney, and Andrew Yang also  answered questions via computer or written statement.

Report and 1st photo from  Christine Sheller

Maine

Belfast

  • A screening of “An Act of Conscience”  was shown at the Belfast Free Library with a  post-film discussion will be led by former NWTRCC Administrative Committee member Jason Rawn and was sponsored by Waldo County Peace & Justice
  • PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick leafleted outside the Brunswick Post Office “sorry to say we didn’t think to take any pictures…but had great conversations with at least 200 people outside the Brunswick PO  We’ll remember pictures next year” reports Rosalie Paul.

Portland

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  • Peace Action Maine hosted a gathering, Let’s talk taxes! Over Pizza: Presentation, Conversation & Action at Abromson Community Education Center, to reflect on federal budget and values with Devon Grayson-Wallace, former FCNL lobbyist and board member . “We offered pizza during our event so we could directly visualize how many slices the military eats from discretionary funds.”
    Report and photos from Martha Spiess with the Peace Action Maine Team

Massachusetts

Boston

  • TAX DAY RALLY
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019
  • REDIRECTION GRANTS with Mary Regan

Wars, Military Spending and Tax Cuts for the Rich Are Hurting Our Communities —
And Destroying the Planet!

At least 60% of annual US Discretionary Spending goes directly to the Pentagon to finance wars and military spending; the Trump tax cuts overwhelmingly favor the wealthy and Corporations while limiting potential spending that will benefit our communities.

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We say:

NO to excessive military spending YES to HOUSING
NO to tax cuts for the rich YES to EDUCATION
NO to nuclear weapons YES to HEALTH CARE
NO to military bases all over the world YES to JOBS
NO to war YES to COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE

Sponsors: Dorchester People for Peace, Mass People’s Budget Campaign, Massachusetts Peace Action, AFSC, Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, City Life/Vida Urbana, Boston Teachers Union, MassCare, 350 Mass Boston, DSA Dorchester, New England War Tax Resistance, American Friends Service Committee, New England War Tax Resistance, Mass. Senior Action

— Report by Craig Simpson with Mass. Peace Action

photos by Yukun Zhang

Missouri

St. Louis

  • Members of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Peace Economy Project and Extinction Rebellion distributed the WRL Piechart Budget 2020 and conducted a penny poll. One car was turned into a moving billboard with messages of runaway military spending.Report from Chrissy Kirchhoefer

New York

Ithica

A small group from the Ithaca Catholic Worker community and local Quaker Meeting gathered to vigil in front of the Ithaca post office noon to 2:00 and 4:00-5:00 Image may contain: 2 people, people walking, shoes, tree, child and outdoorReport and photo from Garry Thomas

Manhattan

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April 15— the deadline to file and pay taxes so U.S. wars can continue to be funded — about 40 of us showed up in front of the IRS offices in Manhattan (despite ample wind and rain) to demand Congress slash the Pentagon budget. We also called for support for those who are refusing to pay the IRS but, instead, are directly giving their taxes to those organizations that really need it. The gathering was sponsored by NYC War Resisters League, NYC Catholic Worker, Kairos Community, Peace Action NYS, Brooklyn For Peace, Veterans for Peace/Chapter 34, CodePink NYC, Raging Grannies, Pax Christi Metro New York, Granny Peace Brigade, Peace Action Bay Ridge, Bronx Peace Action, Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, NYC Democratic Socialists of America Anti-War Working Group, World Can’t Wait. 

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Report and Photos from Ed Hedemann

Oregon

Eugene

  • We had about 50 people turn out in the pouring rain for our rally and march. We delivered a letter to the IRS and then copies to our congresspeople and mailed it off to lots of folks.  Lots of local peace, justice and environmental  groups signed off on it. Taxes for Peace Not War, along with Community Alliance of Lane County, 350 Eugene, Oregon Women’s Action for New Directions, & Extinction Rebellion held a rally at the old Federal Building (location of IRS office) and then marched to the new Federal building to deliver copies of the letter to federal representative Peter DeFazio and federal Senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.  Despite the rain people’s spirits were lifted by the chants, songs, and speeches.  New groups Planet vs Pentagon and Extinction Rebellion both emphasised the impact of the Pentagon and militarism on the planet. A video of the event can be found here. 

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Report and photos from Sue Barnhart

Portland

  • Sign-holding on Portland bridges (Burma Shave Style) sponsored by War Resisters League – Portland.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

  • The Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia conducted a Penny Poll and leafleted on Tax Day. They polled pedestrians to inquire how they would like their tax monies spent and sent the results to “the political establishment”. They attempted to lure locals in with candy.

Vermont

Brattleboro

  • Pioneer Valley War Tax Resistance had a WTR Information Tabling at the  the Brattleboro Food Coop where people were eager to engage members of their community.  “Tax Day was very rainy and windy. We were going inside and outside a lot and as a result, we did not get much people traffic.  Despite the weather, I’m glad that we were tabling anyway.” Report by Daniel Sicken

Washington

Seattle

  • Seattle Anti-War Coalition sponsored a leafleting in front of the Federal Building in Downtown. Extinction Rebellion was also part of the action and the group  conducted a die in. seattleantiwarcoalition.blogspot.com

Wisconsin

Madison

  • Veterans for Peace was one of the sponsors of Madison’s Monday Peace Vigil, which has been hosting a weekly Monday Vigil for Peace which began in December 1981. The weekly vigil was held in front of the Dane County courthouse.  Veterans for Peace stated that on Monday April 15, “We will protest the use of our tax dollars to pay for weapons of war.”

Milwaukee

  • On Saturday April 12, Milwaukee War Tax Resistance, Casa Maria Catholic Worker, & Peace Action of Wisconsin gathered at the U.S. Army Reserve for a Vigil to protest federal tax dollars and environmental harm.

Report and photos from Lincoln Rice

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