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 […]

Lien Times: Resisters, Regulations, and Rackets

why-me brochure for tax help

A friend came to dinner recently and brought along her folder of letters demanding payment of her war tax resisted taxes. She’s an activist with a list a mile long about why she’s glad to not be paying for the nefarious activities of the U.S. government. She’s determined to resist, but wanted to make sure the latest mailings did not signal some critical advance in IRS enforcement. For the first time in her 15 years of resistance, the IRS placed a lien against her property in local county offices last August. Others on the war tax resistance listserve have written about receiving liens in 2019, perhaps signaling some new flurry of “lien-ing” coming out of the IRS. WTR David Gross […]

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 […]

Know the Earth…Share the Way…Understand the World

Flag of International Atomic Energy Agency with blue background, atomic particle surrounded by oak leaf branches

Last week I joined with others who had participated in a tax day action earlier in the year to raise awareness about nuclear weapons on the UN designated day to eliminate the most potent weapon ever created.  We set out seeking midday crowds in a boldly painted vehicle with messages of nuclear disarmament and “armed” with materials including the Warheads to Windmills literature. The program provides a framework of how we could invest the $61 billion for nuclear weapons (in 2018) into programs that could counter climate catastrophe including the Green New Deal. While we traveled around the city I had to put some of my organizing instincts on hold and focus on what underlies all of this work, building […]

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 […]

Nukes vs. Earth: Wake Up and Change

#1 polluter = war with Frances Crowe

“People tell me I should study to become a climate scientist so I can solve the climate crisis. But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.” — Greta Thunberg It’s pretty easy to find great quotes from the surprising and powerful new voice of the climate change movement, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. I like that quote because often I feel like we are drowning in information and should spend more time out making more noise than listening to news (ok, I’m something of a news addict, but then my parents were journalists) or reading yet another book on how we ended up where we […]

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 […]

Negotiations Continue for FY 2020 Defense Bill

As this Blog is being prepared for publication conferees from the US House of Representatives and Senate are in negotiations finalizing the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The $733 billion House version was passed along party lines — 220 to 197 — with Republicans united in opposition to the legislation. For the past six decades the defense bill has traditionally been a bipartisan effort, but this year there has been more debate about what can be included in military spending as well as curtailing the executive branch’s ability to declare war.  The Trump administration’s escalating tensions with Iran have given added urgency to war authorization powers. Last month, the president said he did not believe he required […]

On the Streets with XR

On Saturday, June 22, Extinction Rebellion NYC organized small group discussions in a midtown Manhattan park, followed by a march to take the message of “climate emergency” to the media – in this case directly to the headquarters of The New York Times. Many have heard of Extinction Rebellion (XR) now, which started with large actions in London, blocking bridges to demand decisive action from governments on the environmental crisis. The UK group describes XR as an international apolitical network using non-violent direct action to persuade governments to act on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. In the U.S., XR has added a fourth demand: “We demand a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and indigenous sovereignty; establishes reparations […]