360 People Make Public Vow to Resist Taxes for Vietnam War

From the St. Petersburg Times, :

360 Refuse To Pay Tax On Income

At least 360 persons, including a Nobel Prize winner, a leading folk-singer, and a controversial Yale professor, have refused to pay all or part of their federal income taxes for in protest to “illegal use” of U.S. forces in such areas as Viet Nam and the Dominican Republic.

A statement issued by the group said some of the protestors will leave their tax money in banks where it can be seized by the Internal Revenue Service. Others, it said, will contribute the money to charities.

The Federal Revenue Code provides for jail sentences of up to one year and fines as high as $10,000 for conviction of willful refusal to pay federal income taxes.

Among the protestors who signed the statement were Prof. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, nobel prize-winning bio-chemist; folk singer Joan Baez; Prof. Staughton Lynd of Yale, who made an unauthorized trip to Viet Nam last December; veteran pacifist the Rev. A.J. Muste; Helen Merrell Lynd; co-author of “Middletown;[”] poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti; publisher Lyle Stuart; Prof. William Davidon of Haverford College; Prof. Carroll C. Pratt of Rider College; editor Dorothy Day of The Catholic Worker, and Prof. John M. Vickers of the University of Illinois.

A version of the same story in The Milwaukee Journal has some minor wording changes, lists CARE and UNICEF as two of the charities some of the resisters are redirecting their taxes to, notes that “Almost every state in the union is represented in the group,” and adds a couple of paragraphs about Wisconsin resisters:

Dr. Carl M. Kline, a Wausau psychiatrist who formerly practiced in Milwaukee, was one of the signers. He said: “I am just going to refuse to pay a part of it, and I will leave that money in my bank account. I realize you can’t beat this thing, but it is a matter of expressing my feelings. I am a Quaker, and I am against war altogether, but I feel particularly that our action in Vietnam is wrong, and this is my way of protesting. I wish I could do more.”

Another Wisconsin signer was Kenneth Knudson, of Madison. Knudson picketed the Madison internal revenue office in and to protest use of federal funds for military purposes.

That article also adds this detail:

Miss Baez earlier had refused to pay 60% of her federal income tax to protest government expenditures for armament. The internal revenue service collected more than $34,000 from her after attaching a lien to her income and property.

On , UPI carried a long article by Steven W. Syre about tax resisters and constitutionalist tax protesters in the United States.

Most of the article concerns the “show me the law”-style tax protesters — folks like Charles Rielly, Paul A. Hein Jr., Irwin Schiff, Gordon S. Buttorff, Charles A. Dodge, and Alton Moss — and their various arguments and techniques. But there is also some mention of war tax resisters:

On , Brandeis University professor Paul Monsky was convicted on tax evasion charges in U.S. District Court in Boston. The 43-year-old math teacher did not pay taxes for six years to protest military spending. It took a jury less than two hours to decide Monsky was guilty of defrauding the government by claiming 42 exemptions, even though he attached explanations on his tax forms.

He faces a possible $500 fine and a one-year prison term when sentenced.

Bruce Chrisman, a Mennonite pacifist from Ava, Ill., made the same claim on his return and received a similar verdict .

Chrisman, an organic truck farmer who grows alfalfa sprouts, maintained his conscience as a Christian pacifist prohibits him from supporting killing, even indirectly through taxes to finance the military.