For all of the celebrating in the nation’s capital and around the country as
the nation’s first black president was sworn in, Juanita Nelson’s reaction
was, well, reserved.
The 85-year-old African-American woman, who has been active throughout her
life in civil rights, anti-war, tax refusal and other social justice
movements, has a skeptical outlook on the Obama presidency as a watershed
“I think it’s interesting, but it doesn’t necessarily warm the cockles of my
heart,” said Nelson. “He’s going to be presiding over something that’s the
same old, same old. He’s only one person.”
Nelson says she didn’t even vote for Obama — or for anyone else, in fact. The
only election in which she’s cast a ballot, for that matter, was for Franklin
Delano Roosevelt in . The same holds true
for her late husband, Wally, who died in at
the age of 93, and who[m] she had first met as a newspaper reporter covering
his imprisonment as a conscientious objector — he’d walked out of a Civilian
Public Service Camp that felt like “slave labor.”
“There’s not anything to vote for,” said Nelson. “I vote with what I do or
don’t do. I have to do what I believe in, you have to do what you believe in.”
What a rare and heartwarming surprise it is to hear Thoreauvian echoes in the
hills this cold .
is approaching, and so
you’re probably starting to get those W2s and
1099s and such in the mail, showing any money you
brought in in the above-ground economy, and how much taxes were withheld.
And so you can probably get started in making some back-of-the-envelope
calculations of how much you gave Uncle Sam last year, how much you still owe
(or maybe you overpaid like so many do and you’re looking forward to getting
some back). At least you’ve got a ballpark figure, right?
Wouldn’t it be nice to know what that money went for? You worked hard for it.
Those dollars represent hours of your time.
I noted that struggling farmers in Argentina were organizing
and engaging in nonviolent direct action campaigns such as strikes and
The latest news suggests that they may be adding tax resistance
to their arsenal (excerpts translated by me, and my Spanish isn’t all that
hot so caveat emptor):
Leaders from the Córdoba district of the Argentinian Agrarial Federation
felt the concern of numerous rural producers from throughout the province in
launching a tax rebellion to start in
. So, with all of this forcefulness,
Agustín Pizzichini, head of the
FAA’s Córdoba district, explained to La Voz del
Interior that the proposal to halt national and provincial tax
payments was launched by independent producers in various locations in the
province during a meeting that took place on
at the federation’s headquarters.
The meeting also took stock of the presence of the future head of the
provincial council of Coninagro, Marco
The revolt is a reaction to the lack of “concrete measures” from the national
government to confront the drought in the affected regions, the fall in
profitability, and the increased tax burden from provincial mandates. The
drastic situation will be conveyed for consideration by the central council
of the FAA on in Rosario.
While a group of directors of Agrarian Federation subsidiaries held a meeting
in Oncativo, the head of the
Pilar subsidiary, Juan Pivetta, said, as for himself as regards to the
decision of a tax revolt, “not participating.” However, he indicated that
producers are willing to engage in other methods of protest, like a
suspension of sales. “The situation today is more serious; it is one thing to
have problems, volatile prices, and it is another not to have a harvest; it
will motivate a different reaction,” he argued.
Leonardo Ferrero, a producer and contractor from Hernando, said that the idea
of halting tax payments “is what you hear from people who are desperate. The
credits (that the government announced) only work if the productive economy
is well,” he argued.
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