A Visit with IRS Revenue Officers Justin and Ryan

During the Vietnam War, I joined Friends (Quakers) and other peace activists at the Post Office on tax day to pass out War Resister League pie charts showing how much of our national budget was spent on war. In the late 1970’s, I heard Richard Catlett and Bruce Chrisman speak about their war tax resistance at a Friends gathering and was inspired by their witness. Getting through medical school gave me the courage to begin resisting payment of war taxes. As an employee, I have inflated my withholding allowances. When I was in family practice, I lowered my salary to below the taxable income level to prevent collection. As a contract physician, I paid what I owed in self-employment taxes […]

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 […]

RIP Joffre: A tireless resister — who could try patience

Joffre Stewart died in his hometown Chicago at age 93 on March 12. He became a dedicated nonviolent resister to war and injustice out of a short stint in the military during WWII when he went to prison for going AWOL. Early on he found his political home with the revolutionary pacifism and direct action of Peacemakers, a group founded in the late 1940s by Ernest and Marion Bromley and Juanita and Wally Nelson. He carried his anarchist-pacifist politics with him for the rest of his life, although Joffre was not someone who fit easily into a group. He was a poet and might have known every open mic poetry night in Chicago; he had a great voice for recitation, […]

Breaking from Compliance

By Ilene Roizman A year ago, committing to tax resistance felt like jumping off a cliff. There had been a three-year period a few years prior when circumstances allowed me to work so little I wasn’t required to file, and I didn’t, without any hesitation. So when it came time to make not filing a deliberate act of civil disobedience, I had already gotten over the hurdle of breaking from decades of compliance. Still, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Working as a freelancer means no tax withholding. I’m supposed to put the money aside and actually write a check to the IRS every year. Two years ago, coming off the no-work period, there wasn’t much to send, but […]

Reflections on War Tax Resistance Actions

By Michael McCarthy In May 2007, I wrote an article (pictured below) for the Port Huron, Michigan Times Herald called “Protesters want to pay taxes, but don’t want immoral war” about our project, “Iraq Peace Bonds.” We’d formed a local community to openly redirect some of the federal income tax money going to the Iraq war, in doable amounts — increments of $100 to meet human needs. Easier said than done, but worth the effort. The check we presented to our local library in 2007 was from 10 of us: seven paying forward what they planned to resist, and three of us already owing and therefore actually refusing payment to the IRS. We were a loose group of friends who’d […]

Sixty Years with The Catholic Worker And Fifty-Eight Years of Effective War Tax Refusal

By Karl Meyer July 12, 2017 marked my anniversary for 60 years of active engagement with Catholic Worker communities. On that day in 1957, at lunch hour, I hurried out from my job as a stock clerk at Barnes and Noble in New York City, raced to the Catholic Worker House on Chrystie Street, and, for the first time met Dorothy Day, Ammon Hennacy, and a handful of others gathered there. We went out and sat on benches in the park across the street, in open non-cooperation with a State law requiring everybody to take shelter in buildings when air raid sirens sounded, supposedly training to protect ourselves in case of a massive attack by Soviet nuclear weapons. To us […]

Time for a Change

By Ruth Benn Change is coming for NWTRCC and for me. After nearly 15 years as NWTRCC Coordinator, I am planning to end my tenure at the May 2018 gathering in Los Angeles. Our November meeting in Massachusetts established a hiring committee. They are laying out a timeline for advertising (see the insert in this issue!) and the process of seeking a new Coordinator. I took over from Mary Loehr at the wonderful conference in Santa Rosa, California, in May 2003. When I came to NWTRCC I had already been involved in war tax resistance for a couple decades, after learning about it as an intern with the American Friends Service Committee in Western Massachusetts. Pioneer Valley War Tax Resistance […]

An Adventurous Journey

By Charlie Toledo, Napa County, California Charlie Toledo I am an “assimilated” Indian supporting Northern California Native issues in Napa County, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, where I have lived since 1972. It’s a lovely place to have my home and family! I am a masseuse and hypnotherapist (since 1986) with a background in home births and organic gardening. In 1992 I was asked to reorganize Suscol Intertribal Council a community based organization focused on protecting Human Rights for Indigenous peoples of North America and preserving indigenous culture. Since 1995, I’ve been involved in international human rights and water and land issues locally and globally. My life vision was never to feed into the military-industrial complex.As a young […]

Fed Up and Taking the Next Tangible Step

Sarah Mueller

Sam Koplinka-Loehr interviews Sarah Mueller Courtesy of Sarah Mueller Sarah Mueller is a first year war tax resister. She lives in Philadelphia and is actively involved in justice-centric community film programming, neighborhood gardening initiatives, as well as, organizing for racial justice. Sam: As someone who is new to war tax resistance, what is exciting to you about this form of resistance? Sarah: I first learned of war tax resistance many years ago through my church, Circle of Hope, a Brethren in Christ Church of the Mennonite/Quaker world. I was very intrigued because of the practical nature of its resistance: “We are opposed to war and militarization, therefore we will not pay for it!” That planted the seed years ago. In […]

An Open Act of Massive Resistance

war tax resister Larry Bassett's own humorous meme. Larry is pictured with a very long white and gray beard. Text: "I shave whenever military spending is significantly cut. But until then I will be a War Tax Resister. nwtrcc.org"

by Larry Bassett I have happily just passed the ten-month mark of my first year of massive resistance. I mark this new beginning of my life on June 11, 2016, with the death of my father and with my commitment to redirect much of my inheritance to make a better world. Dad left me $1 million with instructions to distribute about half of it to grandchildren and great-grandchildren and special others. I did that and set to work on my half. My commitment to civil disobedience in honor of my mother, who became a criminal for peace in her later years, is acted out in my case with war tax resistance. I am resisting the $128,005 I owe in federal […]

We Marched: Now Let’s Take the Next Important Step

By Kayla Starr Courtesy of Kayla Starr, starrbotanicals.com In my 75 years, 30 of which as a war tax resister, I have known of no other time when an economic boycott of the federal government was more crucial. Now more than ever, as a grandmother of three beautiful grandchildren, I fear for the futures of the next generation if our country continues on the destructive path it has been following. I firmly believe that we cannot change our deeply corrupt government by voting alone. I have supported progressive candidates, voted in each election, but over the decades it became crystal clear to me that our national elections are carefully rigged to allow only candidates who support the status quo to […]

Resistance to War Tax: A Christian Perspective

By Nathan Beall. My desire to live in community and to resist war began while I was in college, studying religion and working on the campus community garden. The spiritual and intellectual seeds planted there grew during my time in seminary, after which I returned to the college and parish that I attended as an undergraduate to live and work on that same community farm in Maryland. My community and I pray together and grow food for ourselves and for the poor. After a year, I was ordained as a priest and found my way into three employment opportunities: campus minister at the college, assistant at the parish, and professor of Religious Studies. All of these represented not only promising […]