War Tax Resistance News

While I’ve been delving through the archives of Gospel Herald, links have been backing up in my bookmarks. Here are some that concern war tax resistance in the here-and-now:

  • The Trump administration has decided it enjoys provoking trade wars, which perhaps have the blessing of distracting them from getting their jollies by provoking real wars. But the prime mechanism — tariffs — is also a revenue source for the government. Which leads war tax resisters like Lincoln Rice to ask, are these tariffs for war? and if so, what can war tax resisters do about it?
  • There’s a new National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee newsletter out, with content including:
    • Thirty-Eight Years of Refusal — Erica Leigh, Georgia Pearson, Larry Bassett, and Bill Ramsey review the history of the recently-closed Conscience and Military Campaign Escrow Account, which was responsible for coordinating tens of thousands of dollars in war tax redirection.
    • Disloyalty to the War Machine — A look back at the “bond slackers” of World War Ⅰ.
    • Counseling Notes — News about government policies towards war tax resisters, including the use of private debt collectors, IRS summonses, passport revocations, and a sharp decline in levies.
    • Colrain After 25 Years — A 25th Anniversary celebration of the actions surrounding the Corner/Kehler house seizure, coinciding with the New England Regional Gathering of War Tax Resisters.
    • War Tax Resistance Ideas and Actions — Including the Maine War Tax Resistance Gathering, and obituary notices for war tax resisters Ray Gingerich and Naomi Paz Greenberg.
    • NWTRCC News — Including an announcement of the NWTRCC national gathering in Cleveland.
    • War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund — Shirley Whiteside explains the benefits of this mutual-aid program.
  • Adrienne Maree Brown writes about her war tax resistance in the wake of a wage levy, and reflects on the disadvantages of going it alone as opposed to resisting as part of a supportive group. Excerpt:

    i still deeply agree with the politics that led to this action, but i know now that i didn’t do it the right way. i acted as an individual, as if my singular act of rage should be respected, as if it could have meaningful impact on the systems of oppression that lead to the military spending i want to divest from.

    it helped me sleep well at night, but it wasn’t tied into a collective strategy, a system of accountability around whether it was effective. someday i hope to be part of larger direct action efforts around debt and taxes, but from this struggle i have learned in a most personal way the importance of the collective.

  • Is there a war tax resistance movement? According to a pseudonymous author in a back issue of Conscience (the newsletter of the Conscience and Military Tax Campaign), “War tax resistance is real, but the war tax resistance movement is fiction.” War tax resistance is a tactic, says the author, whereas movements coalesce around goals, so there will never be a war tax resistance movement, though there may be movements that incorporate war tax resistance.
  • Erica Leigh looks back at the Beit Sahour tax strike as it was covered at the time, in a two-part series of excerpts from Conscience (part 1 and part 2). Leigh writes: “The tax resistance in Beit Sahour was due to a high level of community cohesion, organization, education, and solidarity, something that’s missing from our scattered war tax resistance organizing around the United States. Most of our finest moments in US war tax resistance arose from such concentrated and dedicated efforts in a small geographic region, even when the total number of resisters was small. Food for thought!”