Justo Daract Residents Declare Tax Strike

I’m beginning to think that tax resistance may be the national sport of Argentina. Here’s yet another example, one that seems unrelated to the other two I’ve recounted in recent weeks:

Tax revolt in San Luis towards the increase in municipal fees

Neighbors in the town of Justo Daract decided not to pay until the mayor tells them what he would do with so much money.

A grass-roots [my latest best-guess translation for «autoconvocados»] group of neighbors in the puntana [I think this means it’s in San Luis] city of Justo Daract called the community to a “tax revolt” against the collection of a municipal rate that experienced an increase of almost 400 percent.

“We have decided not to pay the municipal fees until such time as the mayor (Ramón Domínguez) gives account before the public authorities of what he spends on administration,” said Ramón Guerrero, one of the grass-roots neighbors, according to a press release.

For his part, the president of the local City Council, the Justicalist Daniel Pairone, accused Domínguez of “handling, , between 40 and 60 million pesos, the fate of which is unknown because he doesn’t give explanations.”

“Never since he came to hold a balance of power in the City Council has he set foot in the district, so far in this administration,” said Pairone.

Another councilman, the radical John Rodríguez, said that “Domínguez tries to protect himself, justifying the tax increase by saying that what he is doing enforces a resolution from that had never been applied.”

On , the neighbors will make a march on the city capital, where they will demand the intervention of the provincial governor, Alberto Rodríguez Saá.

The initiative of the grass-roots neighbors counts on the support of the provincial deputies from Frente Juntos for San Luis: Eduardo Gargiulo, Carlos Berro, and Mónica Beatriz Ruti; and also expressed the support of the legislator for the Falkland Islands Veterans’ Movement, Alberto Magallanes.

Here’s another article with some more details.

Martin Kelly at The Quaker Ranter reacts to Cherice’s recent post at Quaker Oats Live about war tax resistance. Excerpts:

What if our witness was directed not at the federal government but at our fellow Christians? We could follow Quaker founder George Fox’s example and climb the tallest tree we could find (real or metaphorical) and begin preaching the good news that war goes against the teachings of Jesus. As always, we would be respectful and charitable but we could reclaim the strong and clear voices of those who have traveled before us. If we felt the need for backup? Well, I understand there are twenty-seven or so books to the New Testament sympathetic to our cause. And I have every reason to believe that the Inward Christ is still humming our tune and burning bushes for all who have eyes to see and ears to listen. Just as John Woolman ministered with his co-religionists about the sin of slavery, maybe our job is to minister to our co-religionists about war.

But who are these co-religionist neighbors of ours? Twenty years of peace organizing and Friends organizing makes me doubt we could find any large group of “historic peace church” members to join us. We talk big and write pretty epistles, but few individuals engage in witnesses that involve any danger of real sacrifice. The way most of our established bodies couldn’t figure out how to respond to a modern day prophetic Christian witness in Tom Fox’s kidnapping is the norm. When the IRS threatened to put liens on Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to force resistant staffers to pay, the general secretary and clerk said all sorts of sympathetic words of anguish (which they probably even meant), then docked the employee’s pay anyway. There have been times when clear-eyed Christians didn’t mind loosing their liberty or property in service to the gospel. Early Friends called our emulation of Christ’s sacrifice the Lamb’s War, but even seven years of real war in the ancient land of Babylonia itself hasn’t brought back the old fire. Our meetinghouses sit quaint, with ownership deeds untouched, even as we wring our hands wondering why most remain half-empty on First Day morning.

Folks interested in alternative currencies (and these days it seems like a lot of people are looking for some alternative to the greenback), will be delighted to know that there’s a new magazine, Community Currency Magazine, devoted to the subject.