Colrain after 25 Years: Learning from an action

A summary of a great weekend at the New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters Woolman Hill, Deerfield, Massachusetts, November 16-18, 2018 Between 1989 and 1993, hundreds of people flocked to Colrain, Mass., to voice their opposition to war and military spending by supporting the war tax resistance (WTR) of Betsy Corner and Randy Kehler when the IRS seized their home. You can read about them and a synopsis of the house seizure here – and through many other web links. About 50 people turned up during the reunion weekend to share personal impacts, reflections, analysis, and lessons of the Colrain action. There were also presentations and perspectives on the military budget and the current state of the WTR and the […]

Celebrating a Triumph over the IRS, with Redirection

Chanticleer

For the first time this year one of my outstanding tax debts hit the ten-year statute of limitations for collection. During those ten years, the IRS sent me increasingly exasperated letters, threatened me with thousands of dollars of interest & penalties, and even seized $469 from my bank account once. But this year the remaining $3,226 I owed slipped permanently out of their reach, and the interest & penalties evaporated too. I called their bluff, waited them out, and won (well, except for that $469). (Note: this statute of limitations does not apply to people who refuse to file returns, or if the IRS can show that you did not file honestly, correctly, and completely. It only applies if you file […]

Resisting Nukes: Then, Now and How Much Longer?

I am among the many war tax resisters who got into this form of resistance after becoming aware of the horror of nuclear weapons, the damage done by every step of the process to build them, and the incredible waste of trillions of dollars over seven decades. Surely the world would look very different if there was such a dedication to feed the hungry, house the homeless, and develop alternative energies (the non-nuclear ones). Thus with August 6-9 — Hiroshima and Nagasaki days — approaching I wanted to post a reminder to get out to a vigil or action during that time. Humans created weapons of mass destruction and we are responsible for getting rid of them. NWTRCC  has a […]

Educating Catholic Workers about WTR

Catholic Worker logo in a woodcut black-and-white art style. Showing a cross behind Jesus in the center, with a light-skinned woman on the left holding a basket and carrying a baby on her back, and a dark-skinned man on the right holding a pickaxe.

by Lincoln Rice Every September for about forty years, there has been a Midwest Gathering of Catholic Workers near Preston, Iowa. Attendance ranges from 75 to 200, with representatives from around two dozen Catholic Worker communities. The weekend is a chance for autonomous Catholic Worker communities to share stories and hold roundtable discussions on topical issues and concerns. In the twenty years that I have regularly attended, there has never been a session on war tax resistance (WTR). Most Catholic Workers try to live simply and are anti-war, but do not intentionally practice WTR. Most are WTRers by default—by earning under the taxable limit. In recent conversations with younger (30 years and under) Catholic Workers about WTR, I realized there […]

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 […]

Why Bother?

Getting out of bed on a chilly and windy Sunday, about the last thing I wanted to do was go out to a rally and march that afternoon. I had to give myself an extra kick. After all, it was April 15 and a perfect day to do outreach about war tax resistance. On the one hand, I can’t say it was the best event I’d ever been to. I tire of endless speakers speaking mostly to the converted — a full two hours of that before the march to Trump Tower, so the crowd of some hundreds steadily dwindled before the march began. On the subway on the way home I was thinking of other things I could have […]

Building A Local War Tax Refusal Support Group

by Daniel Woodham with Katherine Betts This is the story of how 2 people formulated and carried out a gathering of people interested in learning more about how to not pay for war. It is easy to replicate, and so we offer the following details on how we did it – in case you want to do something similar in your town. On a cool rainy day just before Valentines Day, ten people gathered in the social hall of a church that was kind enough to allow free use of space and audio visual equipment. Most people did not know each other but all seemed keen to know more about how to refuse payment for the increasingly war-like ways of […]

The Path to War Tax Resistance

tax day war tax resistance leafleting

People who join NWTRCC’s e-list (subscribe here) receive a welcome email that asks how they found NWTRCC. Here are some responses stored up over the past year or so, which point out the importance of the internet — but don’t discount leafleting and talking to friends either! New people often say they have known about war tax resistance, or tax resistance, for a while but deciding to actually do it takes longer, or takes some confluence of factors. It is a reminder that much of what we do as organizers is plant seeds; there may not be instant gratification, but maybe readers who are organizers can take heart from some of these comments. I’ll post these without names, but thank […]

Creating An Affinity Group for Resistance and Support

Tax season is here! Calls and emails come to the NWTRCC office from people who don’t want their taxes going to war, border walls and deportations, a white supremacist system, tax laws made for the rich, a government set on speeding up climate change, etc. etc. etc. Despite the desire to resist, many of these people express a fear of doing it alone. Lots of people like the idea of a pledge: “I’ll resist when 10,000 others sign on to a tax resistance campaign over a particular issue.” There’s one about stopping war with North Korea now. On the one hand, most of us longtime resisters want to say yes, let’s go for it. On the other hand, there have […]

A NEW HOPE (Sam’s October College Tour)

Disclaimer: This blog post about Sam’s college tour is best to be watched, not read. Watch it in its true format here! A long time ago (not so long actually, it was only in October of this year) in a galaxy far, far away (called “The Northeast”), it is a period of civil war. A lone rebel spaceship, striking from a hidden base (Philadelphia), won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet (the Military Industrial Complex, funded by hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars). Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents (cops be […]

Gatherings of Resistance

I’ve been at three different activist events recently – or at least parts of all of them. For various reasons I didn’t stay for the full programs, but each provided some food for thought. WTF Do We Do Now? This was a day-long forum in Brooklyn sponsored by Pioneer Works, Creative Time, and the Yes Men and defined as a time to “reflect on a year of incredibly bad politics, and to gather energy, develop clarity, and make plans for the long fight ahead.” It was all day on a Sunday, which is really my time to gather energy catching up at home, so I got through about half the program. Still, it was a young crowd, mostly artists and […]

There And Back Again: Organizing on the Road

Sam Koplinka-Loehr, NWTRCC Field Organizer, testified at the Iraq Tribunal on Friday, December 2nd about the costs of the war. Her testimony is below.

Whew! What a trip. Eight days, six presentations, two conferences, nine states & provinces in two countries, 50 hours on the road, and 3,600 miles later! And I am back in Philly. Glad to say it was a rental car with unlimited miles rather than with my 1990 Oldsmobile (even though I would have been looking a lot more fly on the road in the Oldsmobile…). There’s so much to share from my latest war tax resistance organizing trip, I’m not even sure of where to begin. So I’ll share some tidbits and then if you have additional questions, please comment or email me. Most Relaxed Point The first stop of my field organizing trip was perhaps the most peaceful. […]