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, […]

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 […]

Building Positive Pillars for Peace

On July 30th, 2019 I had the great pleasure of participating in a live webinar featuring several think tanks and organizations around the world addressing the continued efforts to abolish nuclear weapons worldwide. The participants hailed from notable groups like Abolition 2000, the World Future Council, and the Institute for Economics and Peace. The presentations revolved around the audacity for peace and how peace is possible through combined international efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. The Institute for Economics and Peace proclaims two types of peace: positive and negative. Negative peace defined as the “absence of violence or fear of violence.” According to the Positive Peace Index Report 2019 written by the Institute for Economics and Peace, higher levels of negative […]

Confessions of an Anonymous War Tax Refuser

I grew up in a constant shadow of wars—from bomb shelters when I was a child, through Vietnam, the “cold war,” and ceaseless hot ones since then. When I discovered in my 30s that besides what we directly participated in, our government was also fomenting wars all over the world and supplying the arms for them, sometimes to both sides, I vowed myself to peace. That meant I would not help war efforts in any way, including paying for them or for weapons, buying products from companies which profited from war, and every other way that came to my attention. The only way I felt comfortable resisting taxes (other than the phone tax resistance during Vietnam) was to keep my […]

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 […]

Frances Crowe, WTR and Anti-War Activist Extraordinaire

NWTRCC Coordinator Lincoln Rice wrote yesterday:  “Brandywine in Philadelphia sent out an email on their list today about Frances Crowe, who is in hospice. She’s been a longtime supporter of NWTRCC, whom some of you may know. Here is the note from Brandywine: “Yes, the amazing peacemaker, Frances Crowe, is in hospice. Friends and loved ones predict she is soon to leave us. Frances is still able to receive visitors and field phone calls. If you wish to say Godspeed and express your gratitude for her magnificent life you may do so. Her number is: 413 586-4950 [Editor’s Note: Frances passed away at her home on Tuesday August 27th. Here is link to a NY Times article about her life.] […]

War Tax Resister Profile: Howard Waitzkin and Mi Ra Lee

 [Editor’s Note: The following are excerpts from a letter that Howard Waitzkin and Mi Ra Lee wrote the IRS and included with their 2017 tax return. Thank you for sharing!] Statement of Resistance from Howard Waitzkin to the IRS for Tax Year 2017: I am a Conscientious Objector (CO) to war, based on religious and ethical beliefs, as recognized and certified 36 years ago by the U.S. Selective Service System. My beliefs as a CO have prevented me from participating in military service. However, I have devoted my whole professional career to many forms of alternative service, trying to meet the unmet health and mental health needs of active duty military personnel and veterans, as well as those of other […]

Loving Life on the Margins: An Interview with Suzanne Belote Shanley & Brayton Shanley

Earlier this year, Suzanne Belote Shanley & Brayton Shanley published a book about the history of the Agape Community, which they cofounded in 1982 in Ware, Massachusetts. The community is dedicated to prayer, voluntary simplicity, and gospel-centered nonviolent witness. War tax resistance has been a core aspect of the community from its founding. The book, Loving Life on the Margins, is not only a history of the community, but also the autobiography of Suzanne & Brayton. They were kind enough to be interviewed by NWTRCC to discuss their lives and the Agape Community.   What was your initial motivation for becoming war tax resisters? We were becoming an active part of the peace movement of the late 1970’s which was […]

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 […]

The Picket Line 2019 Annual Report on Tax Resistance by David Gross

pay no war tax chicago graphic

Picket Line Annual Report (For the Full Article by David Gross, including the detailed 1040: A Walkthrough click here.  Links to previous Picket Line articles can be accessed by  clicking on the “♦” symbols.) Tax Resistance Sixteen years ago, on 19 March 2003, the U.S. began its “shock and awe” attack on Iraq. For me, this was the last straw and so I started what I then called “an experiment” in tax resistance so that I would no longer feel as complicit.♦ My goal was to stop financially supporting the U.S. government. I hoped at first to do this legally by lowering my income below the federal income tax line, so I quit my job to start my own small business and I began […]

Demand Divestment — them and us

Outside a fancy hotel in Midtown Manhattan a crowd of us held “Divest from the War Machine” signs to greet shareholders of BlackRock, who were arriving for their annual meeting. The demonstration was organized by CodePink NYC in conjunction with CodePink’s national divest campaign; there were actions in other cities too. BlackRock is some kind of big investment company that most of us probably don’t deal with directly, but they influence our lives. CodePink has targeted them as the top investor in weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. We were there to remind shareholders that their choices underpin the production of weapons used in military strikes around the world, resulting in the deaths […]

Terrible Taxes in History

Tax Day in the United States is Monday April 15 in most states (April 17 in Maine & Massachusetts). So I thought a post on terrible taxes in history would be appropriate. Back in December, HistoryExtra.com published an article about ten terrible taxes. (HistoryExtra is the official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC World Histories Magazine.) One downside of the article from an American perspective is that all of the taxes listed were English-enforced, but it’s still interesting and has some parallels with American taxes today. Here are a few of the unpopular taxes from their list: (1) The poll tax became more common in England at the end of the fourteenth century. It charged a flat tax per […]