Christian Peace Witness for Iraq Issues War Tax Resistance Pledge
It wasn’t that long ago that it seemed like the war tax resistance movement
couldn’t get no respect in the anti-war movement at large. But now there are
multiple, independent, war tax resistance campaigns — evidence perhaps that
finally this idea’s time has come.
The latest campaign is a project of
Christian Peace Witness for
Iraq, a coalition of
groups who “are called to raise a prophetic voice, speaking truth to power and
proclaiming that security cannot be obtained through military domination, but
through trust in God alone.
Therefore we confess our complicity in this merciless violence and commit
ourselves to finding genuine security in God, who insists that we build just
relationships with all people. We call our government to immediately begin
an orderly process of withdrawing
U.S. troops and
bases with a timetable supported by the Iraqi people and to work toward an
end to funding war.”
Up to now, as far as I can tell, the coalition has limited itself to prayer,
vigils, protest, petitioning, lobbying, and symbolic displays in pursuit of
this goal. But they’ve just asked coalition members to sign on to
“The Pledge for Peace” which asks
them to go further, and which reads in part:
I will do everything within my power to avoid complicity in acts of war that
violate my fundamental beliefs. I pledge:…
- To resist the powers and principalities:
Through war tax-resistance: I will educate myself about war tax-resistance and share that information with others. As I am able, according to my own calling and conscience, I will with-hold all or a portion of my own taxes until I can be confident that the United States will seek peace through a combination of diplomacy and development together with other nations of the world.
Meanwhile, people continue to sign on to the
“Don’t Buy Bush’s War” war tax
resistance pledge. Here are some comments from recent pledgers:
- The entire anti-Iraq ‘movement’ in the US should join together in this effort. I hope Code Pink will collaborate with other groups to get the word out on this important act in order to make a hard-hit impact.
- Katina Cummings, Chicago, Illinois
- Thank you for organizing this important effort, and for all your amazing work.
- Emily Levy, Santa Cruz, California
- The only way this administration listens is with their wallets. For a long time I’ve been thinking that this is what needs to happen to stop this military machine.
- Marla McDonald, Dallas, Texas
- I did everything I could to stop you from invading Iraq under false pretenses. In my view the entire debacle is one huge war crime and my government is complicit. I will not support these heinous crimes against humanity with my taxes. I will not!
- Randall Shields, Powder Springs, Georgia
- I, as an act of civil disobedience, pledge to with hold all of my taxes which you have allocated toward the unjust and illegal (illegal both nationally and internationally) war you are perpetrating upon the People of Iraq and the proposed war you wish to perpetrate upon the People of Iran.
- Amelia Free, Middletown, California
- The ‘power of the purse’ is ours! When our representatives refuse to use it, we must!
- David Lubeck, Los Gatos, California
- Why don’t we quit with the token resitance and stop paying taxes altogether. Are we afraid we might go to jail… get our property seized. What good are things in a totalitarianism. Civil Disobedience is the shadow of real resistance. Those in power will not relinguish it without a struggle. We can ‘protest’ all we want but the press will ignore us just like the government has been doing. The War costs 270 million/day. That makes me sick… and to support it through my taxes makes be an accomplice. I’m sorry, I just can’t do it.
- Matthew Schmidt, Barnesville, Ohio
- Demonstrations are important, but 100,000 resisting taxes would make more of an impact than 500,000 attending a demonstration.
- anonymous, Washington, D.C.
- If our ‘public servants’ will not listen to the concerns of the people then we can and will take matters into our own hands.
- Bethany Norris, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Based on my religious and ethical beliefs I cannot in good conscience partake in war in any form. This includes funding it through taxes. The courts have ruled again and again that we do not have the right to do refuse taxes based on conscience, that we do not have free exercise of conscience even if we exercise it in non-violent ways. Free exercise of religion must entail free exercise of conscience or else it means nothing. I intend to donate the full amount of taxes I owe in ways that will not fund the war.
- Thomas Gokey, Syracuse, New York
- I’ve been resisting war taxes since we invaded Afghanistan, but I want to add myself to this list. Everyone, think about this: if you met an Iraqi who lived through the war in Iraq, could you look him in the eye and say you did everything you could to stop the U.S. from destroying his country? everything? If we attack Iran will you be able to say the same to an Iranian?
- Steev Hise, Tuscon, Arizona
- It’s about time we got together and presented a fearless, effective, united effort at war resistence.
- Maicol Kelee, Sonoma, California
- This may finally be something that the administration can’t ignore.
- Joseph Italiano, Wilmington, Delaware
- It is immoral to pay taxes that fund an illegal war and when I pay my taxes I am just as criminal as our three branches of government in continuing our illegal occupation of Iraq. I refuse to be held hostage to an immoral tax system.
- Laila Selk, La Honda, California
I’ve just learned of the
U.S. Solidarity Economy Network.
It looks as though it may develop into a useful resource for people working
to build and strengthen alternative economies to those taxed and regulated
by the government.