I’m back! We had a great time in Mexico, and now I’m unpacking and reassuring our cat that we still love him and trying to get caught up on what I missed while we were away.
Here are some of the things I would have been covering at The Picket Line had I not been off-the-grid:
- The War Resisters League is promoting a blockade of the IRS headquarters in Washington on . “Just as military recruiters supply the bodies for the war, the IRS supplies the funding. Just as some soldiers have the courage to resist the war, we — as tax payers — should have the courage to resist paying the taxes that send soldiers to war. We call on all war opponents to help dramatize our opposition and to disrupt business as usual by joining this nonviolent blockade.”
- The Observer has a good article about the anti-Pizzo movement in Palermo.
Fabio Messina has opened a supermarket that only stocks goods supplied by shops and producers who refuse to pay protection money to the mafia.
The store is part of an anti-Mafia groundswell that started four years ago when activists plastered Palermo with bill stickers stating: “An entire population that pays the pizzo is a population without dignity.”
That spawned “Addiopizzo,” an organisation promoting stores and suppliers that publicly vowed to pay no more. Today, 9,000 Palermitans are registered customers and the list contains 241 businesses, 30 of which have their products on Messina’s shelves.
Punto Pizzofree also stocks produce from farms seized from jailed Mafia bosses including Salvatore “The Beast” Riina.
The Sicilian Mafia, on the back foot since the arrest in of fugitive godfather Bernardo Provenzano, was hurt again when powerful industrial association Confindustria said it would expel any members paying protection money.
- Long-time war tax resister Joanna Karl has died. Friends remember that “To a rare degree, Joanna truly did walk her talk. And she did it with a big smile!”
- A paper by Odd-Helge Fjeldstad and Joseph Semboja — “Why people pay taxes: The case of the development levy in Tanzania” — is now available on-line and provides a few more clues for those of us who like to investigate the factors that promote tax compliance or tax resistance.
- War tax resisters in Farmington, Maine held a workshop recently. Resisters including Eileen Kreutz, Eileen Liddy, Henry Braun, and Larry Dansinger shared their experiences. “Since Congress continues to fund the war despite all our letter writing, demonstrations, and protests, I am joining others to try to affect the war funding directly by not paying all of my taxes,” Liddy said. “This is more than just symbolism. Legislators need to know that people are ready to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience in order to get them to do the job they are elected to do.”
- Pente Player, in the comments here at The Picket Line, has done some back-of-the-envelope calculations to see what effect this year’s economic stimulus package will have on those of us who are trying to stay under the federal income tax line.
- San Francisco area artist Doug Minkler has created another war tax resistance-themed poster featuring a paraphrase of William Reich: “People tend to ascribe the responsibility for war to those who wield power. But the responsibility for wars falls directly upon the citizenry, for they possess all the necessary means to avert war. To place guilt on ordinary people — to hold them solely responsible — means to take them seriously, whereas, to view them as victims means to treat them as small, helpless children.”
- The essay Tax Resistance: The Moral and Legal Defense from redpill8 has been bouncing around blogland since it was posted late last month. It asserts that you have a legal obligation to stop paying taxes to the U.S. government in order to keep from being considered an accomplice in its criminal behavior.
- Raleigh Booze at Sword of Peace shares his conscientious objector statement and discusses how tax resistance fits in to a Christian conscientious objection position.
- SFGate caught my eye with its article on “How to be a foodie without breaking the bank.”