Bill Ramsey staffed the Conscience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Fund which held resisted taxes of war tax refusers and invests them in community economic development. The interest earned on these funds is given away to peace, social justice and direct service project each April 15. This work was based in Asheville, N.C.. He volunteers with the local chapter of American Civil Liberties Union, the steering committee of Just Peace for Israel/Palestine and a local interfaith coalition to dismantle racism.
Bill was a founder and coordinator of St. Louis Justice and Peace Shares, a collaborative effort among seven small St. Louis organizations working for nonviolent social change. Bill was a member of the Core Group of the Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America, a participant in the St. Louis Instead of War Coalition, a member of the St. Louis Covenant Community of War Tax Resistance
Bill’s history of war tax refusal and redistribution began during the Vietnam War. After an arrest for leafleting at the IRS in 1992, he was given an unusual probation requirement to pay all his war taxes. This led to a 30-day jail sentence for violating his probation. His refusal to pay war taxes is ongoing. Over the years Bill’s articles on war tax refusal and redirection have appeared in a number of newsletters and journals.
The movements that Bill has participated in and helped to organize over the past 45 years include movements to: end the Vietnam War, foster conscience objection to war, secure rights for farm workers, abolish nuclear weapons, end Apartheid in South Africa, provide sanctuary for Central American refugees, halt U.S. military intervention in Central America, abolish the death penalty, prevent and halt the Gulf War (1991) and the Iraq War (2003), attain political asylum for Haitian refugees, create peace in Bosnia, resolve the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, lift economic sanctions on Iraq and halt sweatshops and child labor practices by U.S. corporations.
He worked for the American Friends Service Committee from 1975–80 in High Point, N.C. and Atlanta, Ga. and from 1981–97 in St. Louis. His commentaries and analysis of U.S. foreign policy, human rights issues, news coverage have been published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis Journalism Review. He and his partner, Joyce Hollyday, are writers and live on a wooded ridge outside Asheville. Bill has five children. He is a graduate of Duke University Divinity School and High Point College in North Carolina. He now lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.