Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare;
To-morrow’s Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.
Mary Kelly cast her vote early — on . She went to Shannon Airport in Ireland, which the U.S. was using to ferry troops and supplies to where they would begin the invasion of Iraq, and she took an axe to a U.S. Navy 737, doing, in the Navy’s opinion, 1.5 million dollars worth of damage to the aircraft.
Arrested and taken to court, her first trial ended in a hung jury. The judge then changed the rules so she could not present evidence about the war in Iraq to support her claim to be acting to prevent worse crimes there. She was convicted on a 10-2 jury verdict .
Her site lists a number of other votes:
- — Eoin Dubsky sets a fine example by spray-painting anti-war slogans on a US Hercules transporter at Shannon, stopping it for a week
- — the Pitstop Ploughshares 5 extensively disarm a US warplane at Shannon
- — longtime peace activist Ulla Roder single-handedly rips an RAF Tornado fighter jet into little bits!
- — the Fairford Five peace activists disable 35 trucks for refuelling B-52 bombers at Fairford US military airbase in England
- — the Alliant 28 peace activists protested at DU weapons manufacturing plant in USA, declared not guilty by a jury on basis of the Nuremberg Principles
- The Trident Ploughshares aim carefully to chop the nukes out of Britain — they have notched-up some truely amazing legal victories, as well as deep notches on the subs themselves
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse is good about puncturing the IRS’s bluster about how it’s getting tough on tax enforcement. This time, they’ve taken a look at how much effort the IRS is putting in to auditing corporate tax returns — it turns out they’re spending 30% less time conducting 26% fewer audits in than they were in a similar span the year before. The amount of extra taxes these audits are uncovering? Also down: by 36%.
You can find the report, and a summary of its findings, at the TRAC site, as: Corporate Audits Continue to Slump.
The Chicago Tribune printed a profile of activist and war tax resister Kathy Kelly — The Peace Warrior.
Kelly decided one way to do good was to lower her income below the taxable level of $3,000 per year [sic]. She didn’t want to contribute in any way to the military budget, what the citizens of her do-gooder’s ghetto called “the death machine.” She was making $12,000 at the time and officials at St. Ignatius distributed the $9,000 difference among other programs and staff at the school. “I was Lady Bountiful,” she jokes.
She says she has not paid a dime of federal income taxes since. “It was one of the simplest decisions I’ve ever made, and one of the easiest decisions to maintain,” she says. “I can’t imagine ever changing my mind.”
For more information on the topic or topics below (organized as “topic → subtopic → sub-subtopic”), click on any of the ♦ symbols to see other pages on this site that cover the topic. Or browse the site’s topic index at the “Outline” page.
- How you can resist funding the government → other forms our opposition can take → physical intervention → sabotage/destruction of equipment
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- The Pitstop Ploughshares activists in Ireland took an axe to a U.S. Navy C40 and disabled it for three months. And their goverment is having a hell of a time prosecuting them for it. Also: what happens when a church has to decide whether to remain tax-exempt or to speak out against politicians from the pulpit?
- Ingmar Lee of the Alternative Press Review lists a remarkable number of recent incidents of effective freelance decommissioning of military machinery.
- When the I.R.S. threw in the towel and decided to stop trying to collect the federal excise tax on long distance service and to issue some refunds, one group cried foul and wondered why the I.R.S. was deciding its own remedy and not the courts. Also: the storm that took out the I.R.S. headquarters in Washington did a better job than first reported. And: the Declaration of Peace campaign gets more specific about its demands and its plans. Also: when clowns attack the Military, part two.
- The “Pitstop Ploughshares” — a group of five peace activists from the Catholic Worker movement who broke into Shannon airport in Ireland and disabled a U.S. Navy supply plane with hammers and a pickaxe the month before the invasion of Iraq began — have been found not guilty by a Dublin jury. Also: an on-line recording of a talk by Juanita Nelson leads me to wonder about the return-on-investment of shock-and-awe.
- Christian anarchists say you should pay your taxes to Caesar, or so says Thomas Bushnell. Also: European juries are refusing to convict people who vandalize U.S. military equipment in an attempt to stop U.S. crimes.
- My war tax resistance speech from last month is reprinted in (and recorded for) Peacework Magazine. Also: Michael McCarthy, Eric Stoner, and Bryan Farrell promote war tax resistance. And: another set of defendants are acquitted for sabotaging U.S. military equipment after raising the defense that they were acting to prevent acts of criminal war.
- The recession means fewer taxes to collect and more people moving into the underground economy. Also: a history of tax rebellion. And: what’s wrong with constitutionalist tax protesters. Also: Geov Parrish updates his anti-tax boilerplate, and gets a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint for his troubles. And: someone blows Lenin’s ass to bits with a bomb, and a bunch of someones destroy £250,000 worth of equipment at an armaments factory in England.
- Raytheon retreats from Derry after anti-war saboteurs and a sympathetic jury yank away the welcome mat. Also: a new supplement updates the war tax resister’s bible. And: an interview with Spanish war tax resister Joan Surroca. Also: a news report of a war tax resistance press conference from 1971.
- In 2009, activists broke in to the offices of an arms manufacturer and destroyed equipment, they were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy, but they raise a “necessity defense” that they were acting to prevent war crimes by the arms purchasers — this year a jury acquitted them, unanimously. Meet the “decommissioners.” Also: the Women’s Freedom League hijacks a tax auction and turns it into a suffrage rally.
- War tax resistance is usually a passive refusal to give in to government demands for support, but here are examples of ways some resisters at some times have chosen to actively deplete government resources that might otherwise be spent on war.
- The Picket Line jumps on the HTML5 bandwagon. Also: doing damage to a new nuclear weapons factory in Kansas City, inviting LulzSec to do the same to the universally vulnerable I.R.S. databases, resisting taxes to protest U.S. funding for Bahrain’s government, and more tax fraud from behind bars.
- Three Plowshares activists shut down the main U.S. nuclear weapons fissionable material plant in a daring raid. The Pacific Yearly Meeting offers financial aid to Quaker war tax resisters. Ed Agro gives his two cents on the “one-man revolution.” Vickie Aldrich updates us on her battle with the I.R.S. And tax-scamming identity thieves are so unconcerned about law enforcement that in one case they filed for over 2,000 bogus refunds destined for the same residential address.
- Diverse tactics and grassroots organizing were key to the success of the poll tax resistance movement in the United Kingdom twenty-some years ago.
- Notes from the NWTRCC national conference earlier this month. Also: tax resisters versus the banks. And: profiles of the Transform Now Plowshares activists and of incorrigible moonshiner Popcorn Sutton.
- Robin Hoods taunt parking ticket personnel in Keene. The I.R.S. tea party scandal hits agency morale. How war tax resisters are taking the scandal news. That other I.R.S. scandal about reading our email without a warrant. A look at the inflation of the charges agains the Transform Now Plowshares. And: the crackdown on tax evasion in Greece turns out to be all for show.
- How you can resist funding the government → about the IRS and U.S. tax law/policy → IRS incompetence → enforcement effort/results
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- The I.R.S. just released some statistics on how it’s targeting its audits these days.
- I.R.S. statistics show that the number of corporate audits has tumbled since 1995, more so than their overall audit rate.
- As the April 15th income tax deadline approaches, the news media are full of stories about how the government takes and spends our money.
- If you want to join a Tax Day protest this Thursday, here’s a list of coast-to-coast protests. Also: all that bluster about increased enforcement and audits from the I.R.S.? If you look at the numbers, you see it’s only talk.
- The cold war is over, so why is the U.S. spending record amounts of our money on nuclear weapons production? Also, why are we debating the when of Iraqi “sovereignty” when we should be debating those quotation marks? And another group finds fault with the I.R.S. enforcement bluster.
- It takes a mighty fine lawyer to claim that waterboarding is “humane” — Alberto Gonzales fits the bill, and the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee say “enough is enough.” Also: the G.A.O. says that the I.R.S. is losing its war against tax evaders.
- The I.R.S. tells Congress how it plans to address the “tax gap”. Also: charitable giving may be one way that well-off folks can escape the income tax this year.
- A profile of Kate Harvey, a tax resister from Britain’s women’s suffrage movement. Also: an I.R.S. audit forecast for the coming year. And: the right-wing media discover the wacky world of freegans.
- The I.R.S. brags that it is auditing more people this year than before, but a look at the numbers shows that most of this increase comes from small businesses and people making under $25,000 a year — millionaires seem nigh invulnerable. Also: war tax resistance propaganda posters hit the streets of San Francisco.
- The I.R.S. is doing more auditing, more liens, more levying, and bringing in more money by doing so… at least if you believe its press releases. It doesn’t like it when people want to look too closely at the underlying data. Also: one taxpayer calls the I.R.S. bluff and prevails in tax court.
- I’ve written an article promoting tax resistance for the latest issue of Simple Living News. Also: the National Taxpayer Advocate releases its report to Congress. And: a new website aims to keep a close eye on the I.R.S.
- The I.R.S. Data Book gives a hint at how their collections efforts are going. Also: direct action against war material shipments, construction recycling, the down side to tax efficiency, an increased I.R.S. enforcement budget, a new war tax resistance blog, Iraq War supplemental funding pork, and more leisure for the poor.
- A new issue of More Than a Paycheck is out, and war tax resister Bryan Nelson gets some press for the cause. Also: increased IRS enforcement effort only looks impressive on a short time scale.
- Ed and Elaine Brown gear up to martyr themselves for fatuous tax protester claptrap. Also: it costs about 26 cents for the I.R.S. enforcers to collect $1, and every year they lose $20 billion in unpaid taxes to the statute of limitations. And: Cindy Sheehan continues to beat the tax resistance drum.
- A new report on I.R.S. criminal enforcement trends shows what a premium the agency puts on publicity. Also: conscientious tax objection is all well and good, but it’s by no means Constitutionally protected, says Stephen Douglas Smith.
- An Oakland, California hardware store owner refuses to collect or remit sales tax in protest against the government’s failure to protect his community against violent crime. Also: a look at the I.R.S. enforcement numbers for last year. And: the “Death and Taxes” poster illustrating the 2008 U.S. Federal Budget is released.
- Help blockade the I.R.S. headquarters in Washington on March 19th. Also: the IRS went for a high-profile tax season tax conviction, rolled the dice, and it came up snake-eyes. And: Wendy McElroy sees frugality as a blood sport. Also: NTodd sees tax resistance as the least we can do. And: taking a closer look at the latest U.S. military budget.
- The I.R.S. releases statistics on how many taxpayers are being disobedient, and what they’ve been doing about it. Also: the I.R.S. is a bit trigger-happy in sending out “frivolous filing” warnings to conscientious objectors to military taxation. And: Abbie Hofmann’s “Steal This Book” is brought into the modern, wiki-age. Also: Caleb Johnson lays down the old-school rhetoric for anarchism.
- The U.S. Department of Justice [sic] rolls out its new “National Tax Defier Initiative” (or “TAXDEF” if you’re nasty). Is there any beef amongst the bullet points? Also: a war tax resistance podcast, a look at the accounting chicanery hiding the cost of war from the taxpayers, a call for tax resistance from an anti-abortion activist, and the I.R.S. gets audited over its lien procedures (and flunks).
- The People’s Life Fund redirects $10,000 of war tax resisters’ money from the federal government to local charities. Also: the I.R.S. oversight board thinks the agency should use a M.A.D.D. or M.P.A.A.-like propaganda campaign to get people to comply with taxation. And Jeff Knaebel suggests tax resistance as a way of reclaiming your right to pursue an ethical life.
- The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration analyzes the I.R.S. enforcement numbers over the last ten years. Also: If you want a picture of the future, imagine an I.R.S. Behavioral Science Unit stomping on a human face forever. And: how “framing” tax issues in different ways can make the same people take opposite positions.
- Go on a $3 trillion shopping spree, read another report from the NWTRCC conference, learn about tax-spawned cigarette smuggling, don’t rely on the Taxpayer Advocate Service if you’re poor, see what happens when the I.R.S. cheats in Tax Court, find out who’s really getting the windfall profits in the oil industry, welcome Mimi Copp to the tax resistance fold, join with ineffective anti-war protesters to spend untold energy planning another ineffective parade, and more about war & taxes.
- The personal is political, but the devil is in the details. Also: my list of 22 ways to show solidarity with tax resisters is wikified. And: Why am I spending so much time and effort on old arguments about Quaker war tax resistance? Also: a number of American churches are planning a civil disobedience campaign to protest the fact that their tax-exempt status comes only at the cost of silencing their voice in political matters. And: a summary of those laws regulating I.R.S. seizure powers.
- Some highlights from the just-released National Taxpayer Advocate’s Report to Congress that may be of interest to tax resisters.
- On “The Ridley Report” Dave Ridley files a Peace Tax Return instead of a 1040. Also: a new G.A.O. report on the I.R.S. collection process contains a few bits of interest.
- American Quakers didn’t stop debating war tax resistance in the 19th century. Some reports from the last New England Yearly Meeting show that the issue is still challenging Quakers today. Also, some brief notes on tax whistleblower payoffs, the authorship of “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude”, and lying Army recruiters.
- Okay, so you believe me that the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act is a rotten idea. But do I have any better ideas? Yes indeed; here are three. Also: highlights from the new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter, including reviews of “We Won’t Pay” and “American Quaker War Tax Resistance.”
- A war tax boycott participant tells how when their mother reacted in horror to their resistance, this became a good opportunity to teach her grandchildren about the importance of standing up for your beliefs. Also: I.R.S. enforcement numbers have dropped: less collections, fewer audits, and fewer enforcement personnel.
- Some updated statistics on how many people aren’t paying their taxes and what the I.R.S. is doing about it. Also: you’re invited to free introductory workshops on war tax resistance this weekend in San Francisco.
- A Tax Day round-up: penny polls and other war tax resistance actions, interviews and profiles of war tax resisters, reactions to the “Tea Party” phenomenon, gay and lesbian tax resistance, a conservative call for an anti-war/anti-tax convergence, a columnist notes how easy it is to get away with not filing your taxes, I.R.S. employees pissed off that their boss got away with the sort of tax evasion that would get them fired, contractors in the I.R.S. mail room caught stealing the government’s stolen money, and Joe the Plumber’s 1-900 fair tax trainwreck.
- More tax day action reflections from the media and from participants. Also: was Jesus joking when he said “Render unto Cæsar”? And: how much does it cost the I.R.S. to pursue a criminal tax case?
- Want to save the environment? Fight militarism. Also: Operation Dep 9, the latest feint towards tax resistance from American fiscal conservatives. And: a theoretical model of tax resister insurance. Also: protecting trust funds from federal tax liens. And: barter networks, alternative currencies, and the counter-economy. Also: IRS agents are slacking when it comes to tax enforcement. And: tax resisters in Nankang, China gather in the thousands, block highways, overturn police cars, and force the government to rescind its tax enforcement plan.
- Thoreau marvels that we devote so much attention to foreign wars when the war within each of us rages. Also: war tax resistance in Canada, the I.R.S. plays the moustache-twiddling melodrama villain, remembering Marian Franz, an underground economy taxi service in Baltimore, the government returned half a billion dollars in incorrect education tax credits to 372,000 taxpayers, and a report on the Second Maine Militia. And: look for some changes in the comments system at The Picket Line in the coming weeks.
- I.R.S. enforcement numbers, updated for fiscal year 2009. Also: an woman in Britain tries, with some success, to convince her employer that it and its employees may be legally liable if it continues to pay taxes to a government that is engaged in illegal wars of aggression and other violations of international law.
- Notes from the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report about social security levies, haphazard collection processes, rampant taxpatriatism, the undermining of the offer-in-compromise program, and increasing taxpayer noncompliance.
- Some updated statistics on how many people aren’t paying their taxes and what the I.R.S. is doing about it.
- The latest issue of New Escapologist carries an article I wrote to introduce the practical technique of tax resistance. Also: John K. Stoner tries to get American Mennonites excited about a new war tax resistance protest campaign. And: would you be surprised to learn the I.R.S. issues more press releases about tax-related prosecutions in the weeks leading up to April 15?
- War tax resisters George Monk and Molly Schaffnit went off-the-grid and back-to-the-land to stop funding the military. Also: Patrick O’Neill on the sentencing of war tax resister Frank Donnelly. And: Murry Rothbard on the 17th century French tax rebellion of the Croquants. Also: the latest news on I.R.S. enforcement efforts. And: The “contumacious” Kate Harvey refuses to pay her taxes or her fines, and other suffragists refuse to license their dogs, in 1913.
- A new issue of “More Than a Paycheck,” NWTRCC’s newsletter, is on-line, including news about penny polls, “settle with the IRS for pennies on the dollar” companies, “frivolous filing” overreach from the IRS, Karl Meyer on what makes war tax resisters more vulnerable to criminal prosecution, Ed Hedemann on the history of the U.S. government’s use of property seizures and criminal cases as tools against war tax resisters in the post-World War II era, and more.
- The I.R.S. releases its new levies, liens, and seizures numbers; here’s how they compare to years past. Also: can you eliminate your tax debt by declaring bankruptcy? And: war tax resister Clare Hanrahan profiled. Also: a dispatch from the Tithe War. And: a 1969 tax strike in Papua New Guinea.
- The National Taxpayer Advocate again chides the I.R.S. for abusing its power to file liens. Also: witches in Romania resist their taxes as only they know how. And: I try to volunteer to be a neighborhood disaster responder, but am told I have to sign a loyalty oath and pledge not to join subversive organizations first.
- Homegrown tobacco? In Brooklyn? Taxes will make you do strange things. Also: the I.R.S. announces that it plans to ease up liens against people behind on their taxes. And: an early mention of women’s suffrage tax resistance workshops from The Vote.
- Some updated statistics on how many people aren’t paying their taxes and what the I.R.S. is (and often, isn’t) doing about it.
- The I.R.S. releases the results of its first new estimate of the “tax gap” in years. Not much has changed, and the data is still of poor quality. The government really has no idea where the leaks are in its boat.
- Some updated statistics on how many liens, levies, and seizures the I.R.S. used last year to try to get taxes people couldn’t or wouldn’t pay.
- The new I.R.S. Data Book is out, giving us a look at how their enforcement efforts (and taxpayer compliance) have changed over the past several years.
- The Department of Justice loses 30% of its tax prosecutors. The federal government is bigger than you might think. Ed Agro on war tax resistance. And: a Mother Jones article from April 1989 on war tax resisters.
- The I.R.S. may be near “a breaking point” at which the moribund agency budget combined with Congress’s enthusiasm for loading up the tax code with greater complexity, leads to “serious problems” with “adverse national repercussions,” says the I.R.S. Oversight Board. Also, the New York Times looks at the trouble for tax collectors in Greece. And: an update on Vickie Aldrich’s frivolous filing case.
- Graphs that show how U.S. taxpayer noncompliance and I.R.S. enforcement efforts are changing over time. Also: Darian Worden on the political philosophy of Thoreau, David Hartsough on war tax resistance, and a look at the I.R.S.-produced Star Trek parody video.
- Budget cut woes for the IRS. Also: the agency plans to use consumer-tracking databases, and to link those up to government databases, as a way of pinpointing tax evaders and finding their assets. And: a fed up farmer in Argentina fires 23 bullets into a car carrying tax inspectors, and the local prosecutor decides to let it slide. Also: a note about a planned tax strike in India in 1921.
- Miscellanous tax resisters → individual war tax resisters → Kathy Kelly
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- Tax Day protests are breaking out all over, and NWTRCC has the list. Also: another news article on tax resistance looks at the strategies and goals of a number of resisters.
- While I was away: Julia Butterfly Hill interviewed about her war tax resistance, Kathy Kelly says taxpayers can’t shift all the responsibility to the politicians, a profile of suffragette and tax resister Sophia Duleep Singh, tax resistance to protest for equal rights for married gay couples, a group in San Francisco vows to buy no new products (except food and a few other exceptions) in 2006, an update on international tax resistance and peace tax news, and Beit Sahour tax resister Ghassan Andoni is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Kathy Kelly asks us to stand up and resist now, while the risks are still low. Also: The tax resistance movement adds a folk song alongside its funk anthem.
- Labor unions strike against unjust wars in Zimbabwe and Iraq. Also: David O’Brien and Kathy Kelly on citizen collaboration in what we like to call “Bush’s War.” And: more Tax Day Action reports.
- This November, don’t celebrate or weep along with candidate A or candidate B, but instead come to Eugene, Oregon, and participate in the next National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee national conference.
- An on-line movie celebrating the life and works of Ammon Hennacy and covering 20th century American anarcho-pacifism. Also: Utah Phillips on Ammon Hennacy.
- A brief report from the NWTRCC conference in Eugene, Oregon. Also: Melissa Etheridge joins the emerging tax resistance movement to protest government discrimination against same-sex marriage.
- I report back from the NWTRCC conference in Eugene, Oregon. Lots of news about frivolous filing penalties, the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act debate, the aftermath of the recent election, the future of the War Tax Boycott, and much more.
- Learn about “The Power of the Purse: Women and War Tax Resistance” at the 2009 Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking this October in Memphis, Tennessee. Also: Aristotle comes to the conclusion that “eudaimonia” is the ultimate goal of human striving.
- War tax resisters Pam Beziat, Kathy Kelly, Clare Hanrahan, and Judy Scheckel held a panel discussion about “The Power of the Purse: Women and War Tax Resistance” at the 2009 Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking last Saturday. Also: how do people make choices? Aristotle says these originate when desire and reason combine.
- “Tax Day” has come and gone; here is some of the news from around the country.
- Kathy Kelly on discerning ourselves from the drones. War Resisters International on war tax resistance in Spain, and an opportunity for resistance-through-overcompliance in the new health care law. Also: supporters of war tax resister Frank Donnelly plan to rally at his sentencing on June 14.
- Is it really war tax resistance if you’re pretty sure the IRS is just going to lift the money (with penalties & interest) from your bank account anyway? Is the point of our resistance to register our disapproval strongly with the government, or to actually withhold funds from the war machine? Highlights from a recent mailing-list back-and-forth. Also: in 1978 the I.R.S. sent agents to tax protester seminars to jot down names and take notes. Suppose they still do?
- Tax resisters Kathy Kelly and Karl Meyer as they were profiled fifteen years ago today. Also: Lively protests accompanied the government’s actions against suffragist tax resister Kate Harvey in 1912.
- How can volunteering in an IRS-sponsored program and helping people file their tax returns be a useful thing for war tax resisters to consider? When those tax returns overwhelmingly result in refunds that take money back from the government and give it to lower-income people. Also: Kathy Kelly on tax resistance, activism, and courage.
- The Catholic Leader asks war tax resister Kathy Kelly if maybe she’s a little too radical. Also, on this date in 1899, a Friends’ Intelligencer reader writes in to advise Quakers on how they can best avoid the war tax on their estates.
- What makes liberals so dangerous is that their passive-voice platitudes have to be enacted by flesh-and-blood people, and they lose track of this in their dreams of polishing their beloved collective. Also: Vickie Aldrich on civil disobedience or civil initiative. And: a good overview of the Rebecca Riots.
- Kathy Kelly writes of the diffuse responsibility for the ominous emergence of drone warfare, and our responsibility for stopping it. Also: the latest developments in the tax resistance campaigns in Ireland and Greece. And: Raoul Vaneigm takes the side of the Greek “We Won’t Pay” rebels.