Bringing the Troops Home to Use on US Citizens

two people holding signs and wearing masks

The president had a very isolating weekend, beginning with descending into an underground bunker at the White House and concluding with global leaders stating they would not be traveling to DC for the G-7 summit. Also, with the highest number of fatalities and cases of COVID-19, the U.S. was pulling out of the World Health Organization.  All week people were coming together to express their outrage at the brutal killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis police. The very protests emerging throughout the U.S. that were calling attention to police brutality as well as the 400+ year legacy of racism were met with increased militarization by the police and national guard.  The commander in chief was sending […]

Looking for Hope In A Time of Crisis

“The Status & Future of War Tax Resistance.” That’s the tag on an old folder floating around my office. When I finished my years as NWTRCC Coordinator a few people asked if I was going to write about the WTR movement, as had previous coordinators*, but I never got to it. Actually I never had much to say except, “It used to be stronger, with more active groups around the country. An undetermined number of us will keep resisting as long as taxes go to war.” Today as I pondered a blog topic yet again I decided to do a search on “war tax resistance” and see where that might lead. Interestingly, it led me to a recent article, “Tax […]

Grounded…or flying by the seat of our pants?

In recent days, an increased number of military planes have been flying over the US and targeting cities often in clusters to show appreciation to ‘front line workers.’  The Pentagon cooked up the scheme of ‘Operation America Strong’ to mobilize the military in what some refer to as the ‘war on the corona virus.’  The operation was to honor the sacrifices of health care workers who have faced new challenges in their profession in caring for those with COVID-19.  The risks to their lives have increased as the availability of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) has decreased.  It seems that the US government has passed the buck in its most basic responsibility to protect its citizens.  The federal government missed the […]

Origins of Mother’s Day

Image of a peace sign drawn in white sand

150 years ago, Julia Ward Howe wrote what later came to be known as the “Mother’s Day Proclamation.” Ward wrote this proclamation as her push to establish a Mother’s Day for Peace following the  US Civil War. Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. “Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to […]

May Day

Several men hold hands around a globe that has a banner reading solidarity of labour

There is a call for a General Strike beginning on May 1, 2020. ‘We are the Shutdown’ is a network of organizations calling for an ongoing strike against the increasingly lethal economy. The general strike encourages the use of various tactics like sick outs, rent strikes and certain workers not fulfilling part of their job responsibilities.New worker collectives have emerged including Amazonians United, Whole Worker and Gig Workers Collective to raise awareness of the working conditions at retail outlets and delivery services. Vanessa Bain, co-founder of the 17,000 member Gig Worker Collective, shared with the Intercept “May Day is not just a one-time symbolic action, but also about building real, vast, and broad sweeping networks of power.”  From We Are […]

The Work That Reconnects and WTR

A few weeks ago I co-facilitated a weekend workshop on the Work That Reconnects. The program was started by Joanna Macy and comes out of her work that spans over 4 decades as an activist largely on anti-nuclear activities. For weeks I had to remind myself that WTR was not War Tax Resistance but rather the Work That Reconnects. We journeyed to the small town of New Harmony, Indiana which had once been a part of a wave of Utopian communities that sprung up in the early 1800s to create a new world here in the US largely by German immigrants. The people envisioned a world in which all would be welcomed.  They were experimenting with the needs of their […]

Checks and Balances or Endless War

Signs at Climate Strike Sept 2019

Recent events have many questioning whether there remains an overall system of checks and balances in the US. Congress has assumed  responsibility for being a check on the balance of power in relation to war in this country. Previously it has fallen on Congress to declare war as well as allocate funding for war.   In the past year there has been a lot of back and forth about the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. There have been many provisions sought from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Some of those provisions included curtailing arm sales to Saudi Arabia to fuel their war in Yemen, prohibiting US military intervention in Iran, preventing funds for a border […]

“I’m not sure I can tell the difference in Iraq and Iran”

Yellow button with words "No to War & Racism- HANDS OFF IRAN- Neighbors for Peace. org

As we ready our current blog post my thoughts turn to my own experience in the Middle East just as the Trump administration has launched new rumors of impending endless war in the region. In an extrajudicial drone missile strike Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani was killed. Soleimani (an Iranian) was assassinated at Baghdad International Airport on Iraqi soil without permission of Iraq where the US had been engaged in active warfare for decades. The US escalation comes after Trump walking away from Nuclear negotiations and imposing strict economic sanctions. Iran has now threatened revenge as the US Army deploys an estimated 3,000 additional troops in the 82nd Airborne brigade to the area. The US has ordered all Americans to […]

Yuletide Express carries a universal message of world peace

With  the backdrop of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and seemingly endless conflicts on the horizon, a local musician created an opportunity for people to come together for the holiday season. Celia’s Yuletide Express was formed 15 years ago to share joy and remember the deepest longings of humans in the long nights of winter. Over the years, the numerous sing a longs have brought together hundreds of people at numerous venues. The  Express stops range from assisted living facilities, coffee houses, high schools, psychiatric centers, to actual Metro train stops.  All are welcome to take part.  The age ranges from young ones to  elders singing along.and dancing. It can be magical in what singing can bring about in the […]

Radical History Quiz

In remembrance of Larry Gara As many readers know, we date the “modern war tax resistance movement” to World War II, when hundreds of amazing people refused to participate with their bodies and/or their taxes. These resisters tended to be committed pacifists, many of them already involved with War Resisters League or the Fellowship of Reconciliation or members of peace churches, such as the Society of Friends. Larry Gara was one of them. I knew and worked with him during my time on staff at the War Resisters League and was sad to learn of his death at age 97 on November 23. After the war years he became a history professor and retired in 2002 from 40 years of […]

Georgia on My Mind

Close the School of the Americas banner with woman and man on both sides

A rare event occurred in my life that I found myself traveling to Georgia for two important events in peacemaking recently. The first event was for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 trial in Brunswick and the second was the 30th Anniversary Commemorative Gathering at Fort Benning with the School of the Americas Watch. Both events were heavily populated with War Tax Resisters as well as potential War Tax Resisters.  The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 (KBP7) action took place in the home of long time War Tax Resister (WTR) Robert Randall who helped organize many of the events around the trial as well as bringing attention to the Trident nuclear weapons for many decades. Like many WTRs, he had focused on […]

Jewish Motivations on WTR at Yom Kippur

dark hands releasing a red heart with a white dove within it

In the tradtion of Yom Kippur and the emphasis on reflection we wanted to share a previous post concerning WTR from a Jewish perspective. Devar Tikkun, A Talk on Social Justice October 24th, 2013 | Personal motivations,Real Life Stories Post by Lawrence Rosenwald, Anne Pierce Rogers Professor of English, Co-Director, Program in Peace & Justice Studies, Wellesley College I gave this talk Friday night, October 18th, in the context of a joyous shabbat service shared between the Moishe Kavod House and my congregation Havurat Shalom. It’s the tradition of MKH to have what they call a “devar tikkun,” a talk about social justice, and I was invited to give the devar tikkun on this occasion, which fact will explain some of the traits of the talk, […]