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 […]

Saying YES to Noncooperation

If you take a look around our world, you will witness a myriad of beings who are each ebbing and flowing out of the various ways their lives manifest, some with beauty and grandeur while others with disdain and bitterness. However, if you pay attention even just the slightest, you will experience a diverse collective of individuals and communities who have been struggling to be conscious beings of fierce compassion and just peace; building the beloved community. From the Movement for Black Lives to Extinction Rebellion, CODEPINK to the Baltimore Wisdom Project, or from the Voices of Creative Nonviolence to the Brooklyn Center for Sacred Activism, there are dynamic people causing beautiful trouble through a variety of means but all […]

A Freelancer’s Quandary

Freelance worker

Who doesn’t want to protect workers against uncaring, exploitative, profit-hungry employers? But…. there’s always a but….I’m just waking up to the fact that a wave of state laws intending to protect workers may also slam the door on freelance opportunities. The California law AB5 that just took effect pushes employers to categorize more workers as W-2 employees. Freelancers are scrambling, and articles indicate that many have lost good, paying work. Now I see a similar law is proposed in New York, where I live. There’s a Freelancers New York campaign against it, and their website announces, “Freelancers in New York watched in horror as AB5 passed hastily in California, destroying the livelihoods of thousands of independent contractors in one vague, […]

Days of Actions and Lessons Learned

  Code Pink, Veterans for Peace and other national groups have called for a Day of Action on January 25th to bring awareness to the situation in Iran and to empower people to prevent an intensified war with Iran. Currently there is a “cold war” happening in Iran with severe economic sanctions that are affecting everyday people. It is like Yogi Berra said, “It’s like deja vu all over again.” Economic sanctions were imposed upon neighboring Iraq prior to the Gulf War campaign in 1990. The severity of the sanctions increased with time, just as they have with Iran. Another similarity is that sanctions did not lift even if the governments were in compliance with the requests made of them. […]

“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 […]

Sing a New Song for the Climate in the Streets this Black Friday and Beyond

young people marching with signs, banners and smiles

Friday the 29th of November Extinction Rebellion groups internationally will be doing direct actions to wake us all up to the climate crisis and on Friday the 6th of December Sunrise groups will be striking for the climate across the country. Look for actions both of these days near you. Extinction Rebellion was founded a year ago in Great Britain and has become an international organization with over 485 groups throughout the world.  They are advocating nonviolent direct action to try to save our planet. They believe that if they can get 3% of the people to join them in the streets that more will be convinced to join and that the climate crisis will have a chance to be mitigated.  Extinction Rebellion US […]

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 […]

Converging and Choosing our Path

pertoglyh on stone with images of "stick" people facing two paths- one with a locomotive running away (representing modern technology) and another path that includes farming corn and living close to the earth

There is a petroglyph on the Hopi Reservation that has been referred to as the Prophecy Rock that presents two paths forward for humankind. One is reliant upon technology and Western ways and the other is the ways of the people close to the Earth. While it seems rather simplistic and known for some time, the implications of this prophecy have been increasingly important in recent times.  Koyaanisqati and the Hopi Prophecy  The Hopi translate their name into English as “people of peace.” Near the village of Hotevilla, Arizona just off Highway 264 there are ancient petroglyphs. One of the petroglyphs, the Prophecy Rock, is said to pictorially depict the Hopi prophecy of a coming “purification” due to on-going environmental […]

Paying for Policies We Protest?

Signs at Climate Strike Sept 2019

I carried my “Refuse to Pay Taxes” sign at a march to “welcome” the president to NYC and the UN the other day. The sign listed various reasons to refuse: family separation, ICE, border wall, hate, war. Can’t say anyone asked me about it. Maybe one of them wrote down the NWTRCC website? Maybe they searched the internet about refusing to pay taxes? Maybe they resist? Not sure there were any other signs about what people’s taxes are up to during this time when so many are out in the streets protesting pretty much everything that the current administration is doing.  I was thinking back to that period after the election, through the inauguration, and the first months of this […]

Crisis at the Border

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

I imagine that those in the War Tax Resistance community have been attuned to an increased militarization of US society for some time: from the increase in the US military budget, the overflow of military equipment into our city police departments and the militarization of law enforcement at the border.  NWTRCC has been reporting on the increased militarization of the border in recent years.  There have been some new developments in the shifting shell game of the military budget in recent times. Everyday the news is full of ways that the president is attempting to circumvent the “laws of the land” in order to solidify the “line in the sand” with a border wall dividing the United States of America with […]

Bringing War Tax Resistance to Campaign Nonviolence and UN International Day of Peace!

During the hot dog days of August, I am kept busy prepping for the dedicated Week of Actions around the UN Day of International Peace on September 21.  Peace folks in San Diego have been part of the national actions for the past 4 years, including the Peace Resource Center of San Diego and the Franciscan Peace Connection.  Big shout-out to Pace e Bene for dreaming up Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions as a time of focused, united local actions to spread a culture of nonviolence.  It has grown from 200 to 2600 actions – a sign of the people’s movement. This year, the focus is on real climate action. I usually enjoy the busy work in anticipation of the […]

War, conscience, and war tax resistance as a movement

demonstration photo war tax resisters

Maybe because I was in Massachusetts over the weekend, the Colrain house seizure story from 1989 – 1993 was on my mind today. And then I remembered something I had neglected to do, which was to post a talk by longtime war tax resister and Massachusetts resident Larry Rosenwald. Larry was a panelist at the 25th anniversary Colrain reunion in November 2018. The panel topic was “The impacts Colrain might have had on the national WTR movement and thoughts on the current state of the WTR and the peace movement.” By “Colrain” we mean not just a house seizure, but the four years of organizing, vigils and civil disobedience at the seized property under the banner “It’s wrong to confiscate […]