Protest in the Time of Coronavirus

march 19 Brooklyn NY

On March 19 — just last week before the state really shut down — our NYC War Resisters League group held vigils in three areas of the city. A few of us walked to the busy traffic circle at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and stood with our signs to mark the 17th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and demand an end to endless war. Because there wasn’t much else going on, drivers zipping by and people walking in and out of the park turned their heads to see what we were up to. Despite some controversy in our group about whether protesting in a time of pandemic was a good idea, we got plenty of supportive honks and […]

The Work That Reconnects and WTR

A few weeks ago I co-facilitated a weekend workshop on the Work That Reconnects. The program was started by Joanna Macy and comes out of her work that spans over 4 decades as an activist largely on anti-nuclear activities. For weeks I had to remind myself that WTR was not War Tax Resistance but rather the Work That Reconnects. We journeyed to the small town of New Harmony, Indiana which had once been a part of a wave of Utopian communities that sprung up in the early 1800s to create a new world here in the US largely by German immigrants. The people envisioned a world in which all would be welcomed.  They were experimenting with the needs of their […]

Military Spending- What’s Your Vote?

gun graphic by Leani Auxilio

In the spring of 2019, the Trump administration asked $750 billion dollars for the military budget. The increase would fund the Pentagon’s capacity to provide and enhance domestic security. But just what does $750 billion get us? Where exactly does the money go? As we approach Tax Day and the presidential campaign heats up, it seems fitting to ask these questions. In May 2019, the Nation broke down military spending to better reflect just how much money the Pentagon is operating with. They studied the base, the war, the nuclear, the defense-related, Veteran’s Affairs, Homeland Security, international affairs, and the intelligence budget. Their investigation revealed that a large sum of the Pentagon’s budget is wasted. For example, the Pentagon is […]

A Worldwide Demand to Cut Military Spending

Global Days of Action on Military Spending

There are a lot of reasons to be discouraged these days. I mean really, that divisive, crude president hosted by a divisive, nationalist prime minister visiting Gandhi’s ashram. It’s just too grotesque for words. So, needing some uplift, I thought about all the grassroots organizing that goes on all the time, around the world, on so many issues. One campaign that war tax resisters have been and should continue to be linked to is the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS). They are gearing up for the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) from April 10 to May 9, 2020, and their nicely redesigned website has excellent background information on military spending and related topics. The Global Campaign […]

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 […]

Looking at Taxes for the Masses

hands holding up signs saying No More War Funding and War is Bankrupting U.S.

I recently spent a full weekend learning about tax preparation. A local organization held a 2 day training to prepare people to learn about tax law in order to assist people in preparing their taxes. The program is oriented towards people on the lower end of the earning scale so that they do not have to pay for tax preparers. The group estimated that they were able to save taxpayers in the area over $2 million in tax preparation fees.  Many of the participants in the training were students at local universities but many were also people who were wanting to obtain knowledge to assist friends and families with their taxes. I appreciated the depth of knowledge that was shared […]

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 […]

Yuletide Express carries a universal message of world peace

With  the backdrop of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and seemingly endless conflicts on the horizon, a local musician created an opportunity for people to come together for the holiday season. Celia’s Yuletide Express was formed 15 years ago to share joy and remember the deepest longings of humans in the long nights of winter. Over the years, the numerous sing a longs have brought together hundreds of people at numerous venues. The  Express stops range from assisted living facilities, coffee houses, high schools, psychiatric centers, to actual Metro train stops.  All are welcome to take part.  The age ranges from young ones to  elders singing along.and dancing. It can be magical in what singing can bring about in the […]

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 […]