U.S. Troop Withdrawal from the Middle East

In the latter half of December, President Trump announced the withdrawal of all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria along with an additional withdrawal of 7,000 troops (a 50% reduction) from Afghanistan. Originally, Trump gave the military thirty days to remove troops from Syria, but now has extended the deadline to four months. One would think this news would have brought a tremendous amount of holiday cheer, but folks of blue and red persuasions have been lambasting Trump over the decision. I do not pretend to have an expert grasp the political situation in Syria. (Here is a brief synopsis of the current situation in Syria). But along with groups like World Beyond War, I want to pressure President Trump to […]

Military Operations on the U.S./Mexico Border

a line of military police with riot shields practicing a formation in a parking lot

I never had enough time in 2018 to write the post I wanted to write about escalating militarism on the U.S./Mexico border. Now I’m shifting out of my role as NWTRCC blog curator. While I don’t have much time to cover the issue, I want to at least bring it up again to our WTR and potential WTR audience! Tear gas and military deployment on the border The mobilization of the U.S. military to the border, of course, is itself quite striking. Militarization is not just a factor overseas, but right here within our own borders. We have soldiers patrolling against the perceived harm of migrants seeking personal safety and shelter, painted by the government as violent criminals. When the […]

Resistance and Witness at the Cleveland National Air Show

At long last, here’s the video from our Friday night event in Cleveland. Maria Smith hosted the evening with Mike Fiala from Cleveland Catholic Worker and other speakers! Unfortunately there’s no closed captioning or transcript at this time – if someone is available to take that task on, please let us know!

Tariffs for War?

image of a container ship loaded up at sea

I feel fairly good about my twenty years of war tax resistance. At times you might even say I feel smug. With the purpose of promoting a more peaceful world, I have redirected those funds to various people, groups, and movements. But I have not been able to avoid financial support for war entirely. I have paid the federal excise tax on gasoline, airline tickets, alcohol, though I try to keep these purchases to a minimum. Starting on September 24, 2018, the US government will impose tariffs on numerous Chinese goods. As a recent Yahoo! article notes, “by Election Day in November, Trump will have placed new tariffs on $250 billion worth of stuff Americans buy every day.” Though the […]

This Is All Happening On Our Dime

I got a very striking email from the ACLU the other day. I don’t know that anyone in the ACLU is aware of what it sounds like they’re saying, which is stopping just short of calling for tax resistance against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): This is all happening on our dime. Congress will vote on a new budget very soon, and President Trump has requested 23+ billion of our taxpayer dollars for this morally corrupt agency – including resources to put tens of thousands of children and their parents in family prison camps. Call your senators and tell them we refuse to provide DHS with our taxpayer money while they continue to harm immigrant children and families. We […]

The president, his taxes and the resistance

“The I.R.S. Should Go After Trump” was a headline on an op-ed piece in the New York Times  that jumped out at me the other day. In part I’m always interested in articles about the IRS, and it did impart some good information on their practices. It also reminded me of all the brouhaha around Trump not releasing his taxes and those who said they would not pay until he did so. The author, Phillip Hackney is a former lawyer for the chief counsel of the IRS, so he knows something about the inner workings of the agency. His piece was inspired by the New York State attorney general going after the nonprofit Trump Foundation for using a charitable organization […]

Let’s Honor Peacemakers on This Memorial Day

rows and rows of crosses and the Santa Monica beach in the distance - the Arlington West memorial to veteran and civilian deaths in war. Photo by Ruth Benn, May 6, 2018.

by Susan Miller When we’ve inquired about remodeling our apartment in Manhattan, contractors ask, “Is it pre-war?” That’s hard to answer. Pre- which war? For the past century, the U.S. has been complicitly or directly at war with countries around the world, with perhaps only a few years during President Jimmy Carter’s administration in which the world was spared from U.S. aggression and so much military aid to influence political and economic decisions. What has the world gained from the unconscionable numbers of civilians and soldiers killed in war, the money U.S. taxpayers lose to the preparation, payment, and resulting debt to our budget, the destruction of our planet, the crises of homelessness, suicide, gun violence at home, and reduction […]

Photo Reflections from LA

Erica posted last week about the Los Angeles WTR gathering, and much about it is still on my mind, so I’ll just add more photos and captions from our time there. It was my last gathering and business meeting as coordinator of NWTRCC (this is my new email address), and now after a few days of training Lincoln Rice is fully in the role. But I hope that I will continue to make it to at least some of the NWTRCC gatherings and meetings. I have had so many special experiences during each of two gatherings a year for 15 years, met so many amazing local organizers working on all kinds of issues, and learned a lot about the shared […]

Migration and Militarism

I’ve been tangentially following the Pueblo Sin Fronteras caravan of Central American migrants, and have been reading more closely about their experiences since they arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry on April 29, 2018. Migrants and supporters also gathered at the beach in Tijuana and San Diego that day. Although, several days later, some asylum seekers have been admitted to the US, dozens, if not hundreds, of others are still waiting at the border for processing. The majority of people in this caravan come from Honduras, a country profoundly affected by US foreign policy, including support for the government installed after the coup in 2009. Others are fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.   The demonization […]

News from the 2018 Tax Season

thumbnail image of 2019 pie chart - click to go to WRL website and download complete file

It’s been a bit of a quiet tax season this year. Send us any news coverage you see, so we can add it to our website! Here’s what’s crossed my computer in the last few weeks – both some clear calls to refuse to pay war taxes, and some calls for reducing the military budget and redirecting these funds elsewhere. War Resisters League released the fiscal year 2019 pie chart, and things are looking worse this year for war spending than last. Although the percentage of your income tax dollar that goes to military spending has gone down from 48% to 47%, the total amount went up, from $1.45 to $1.5 trillion. Every pie chart includes information about NWTRCC. It’s […]

“Trespassing” Against War at Bath Iron Works

photo of nine people in winter clothes standing in a row indoors facing the camera, with the words "The Aegis 9" at the bottom of the photo

by Jason Rawn (In Part 1 of this story, Jason was among nine people [the Aegis 9] arrested for alleged “criminal trespass” at the Bath Iron Works warship facility on April 1, 2017. Jason also testified at a Maine legislature Taxation Committee hearing about a bill that would give $60 million in tax breaks to General Dynamics.) There’s a long history of opposition to building weapons at the Bath Iron Works facility. One of my codefendants in this trial entered the shipyard as a teen in the 90s and dumped blood on a warship. Previously, Daniel Berrigan, Vermont WTR Daniel Sicken, and others successfully performed two Plowshares actions at the yard. There have been vigils organized by Smilin’ Trees Disarmament […]

End “Taxpayer Generosity” for General Dynamics

by Jason Rawn On April 1, 2017, 9 of us were arrested at a “christening” of the latest nuclear-capable guided missile destroyer manufactured by WMD corporation General Dynamics at their Bath Iron Works facility in Maine. It was snowing that day, and I got there late. I had to walk 10 minutes through it from where I parked, and I got pretty wet as the snow turned to sleet. When I got to the protest, my clothes were too wet for tape to stick, so I was unable to attach all the great NASCAR-style corporate logos provided to me as “$en. An-gas King” by fellow protester and WTR Lisa “Power$uit” Savage, who attended the rally as Maine’s senior senator, Susan […]