Tax Resistance Links from Here and There

The latest on the tax resistance front:

  • Catalonia went to the polls to vote on whether to become an independent republic. Spain sent in armed, masked troops to violently impede the voters. This reminds me of what I wrote about political authority:

    [B]y challenging the authority of the government, you call its bluff and force it to reveal its hand. If it has a strong, persuasive hand, well, there you go, and maybe you’re even persuaded. If it has a strong, coercive hand, suddenly people begin to feel its grip on their shoulders. If the hand is weak on either count, suddenly this too is exposed, and the power-behind-the-throne is revealed to be not so powerful after all.

    The point is that it may be important and useful to force the government to retrench from authority to its more concrete basis in coercion and persuasion, even if you do not have the power to overcome it once it has retrenched.

    I’ve been following the Catalan separatist movement for a while now, as they’ve hinted that mass tax resistance may be among the tactics they will choose (they’re laying the groundwork for people to pay their federal taxes to Barcelona rather than Madrid). I would not be surprised to see this as the next step after the independence referendum.
  • The Greek government is increasingly desperate for tax revenue, as the citizenry are reluctant to cough up anything they expect, with good reason, will only go into the pockets of greedy speculators rather than towards the needs of Greeks. Among other things, the government has begun to add a large (50%) tax to coffee imports. The “Fair Trade Is Not For Sale” campaign aims to resist this tax by smuggling fair-trade coffee from Latin America into Greece, while using FairCoin (imagine Bitcoin if the face of Che Guevara were stamped on every coin) to fund the transactions.
  • Meanwhile, the Den Plirono movement continues its work reconnecting the power to families who have been cut off for failure to pay the new taxes added to utility bills.
  • Author Lou Cadle announced on Twitter that she plans to refuse to pay her federal income tax. She told the IRS:

    While I have income taxes due today, I have a bigger burden than taxes, something I owe more to than to you.

    That is what I owe to democracy and my nation and my fellow citizens.

    …paying income tax in the U.S.A. has now become a paycheck made out to “evil.”

    I therefore respectfully decline to pay income taxes at this time. I have this money in the bank, and I’ll pay it once this situation is taken care of which, I fear because of the cowardice of this Congress, might be a couple or more years.

  • The American activist group CODEPINK is launching a “divest from the war machine” campaign, aiming to get various institutions to stop investing in arms manufacturers and the like. So far, not much about war tax resistance can be seen in the campaign’s preliminary material, but perhaps this will change as it gets closer to launch date.