Cindy Sheehan: Peace is Not for Wimps

Some bits and pieces from here and there:

  • Cindy Sheehan reminds us that Peace is not for Wimps:

    I did an interview with the BBC. I don’t like the BBC and I usually have distasteful experiences, but it has such a huge audience, I try to swallow my distaste and just do the interviews. Seamus, the host, didn’t disappoint me — he was just like all the rest — combative and sensationalist.

    At one point he asked me something like this: “Cindy, given the fact that the Military Industrial Complex is so large and powerful, what kind of impact do you think not paying your taxes has on it?”

    Well, at least I can read the latest act of horror committed by my country or its adjuncts and think to myself, “at least I didn’t fund that.” How can one say he/she is against war and other atrocities, yet pay for them? And Seamus was right, withholding my money and using it for good rather than evil doesn’t seem to be slowing down the war machine even a little bit, but what if conscientious war tax resistance were a movement and not a statement by just a few?

    After that interview with Seamus and the meeting at the Peace House in war-torn, but healing Belfast, I received an email from one of my attorneys who is helping me with my tax issues telling me that my hearing before a magistrate to try and force me to comply will probably be on in Sacramento.

    At the meeting at the Peace House, a gentleman asked me if I would go to prison rather than pay my taxes.

    I don’t want to go to prison in the U.S.A. — that’s one of the last things in the world I want to do. I don’t think that it will come to that, but my answer to the gentleman was, “Yes.” This is one of the multitude of reasons why:

    The other day, I saw a video report from the BBC, not some left wing anti-Semitic, radical news source, that told about an Israeli soldier that lined three sisters ages four to eight up against the side of their home in Gaza and shot them — killing two and crippling the four year old. By conservative estimates, the U.S. gives Israel ten million per day for military aid. Would I rather go to prison than fund the murder of these young girls and millions more?

    That’s not a hard choice for me.

    In Belfast, the British troops finally left, forced out by a combination of non-violent protest and armed struggle.

    Tax resistance is one of the most non-violent forms of resistance that I can think of: One that can make a profound difference.

    I hope we can Occupy Peace and grow the tax resistance movement to really and non-violently make a difference.

    We must ask ourselves if funding the execution of babies is something that our moral center is comfortable with.

  • War tax resister Vickie Aldrich reports that she’s getting some help from students at the University of New Mexico law school in her fight against an IRS “frivolous filing” penalty:

    They will argue it not in terms of my position on war taxes or the IRS regulations but in terms of “case law” and in relation to how the penalty was applied. I’ll know more as time goes by. I was surprised at how much I was relieved at this news. I was a bit disappointed that they suspect it will take more than one semester. I fantasized that it was like a western movie scene when the cavalry would come riding in to the rescue, the IRS would look up from their desks and drop everything and run shouting “look look it’s New Mexico law students!,” “we give up.” Evidently, this is not the case, we are not at the end, just beginning a new chapter.

  • New war tax resister Chris Gaunt explains what led her to take her stand, in Iowa’s Your Weekly Paper.
  • Kelly Denton-Borhaug, author of U.S. War Culture, Sacrifice and Salvation, Christian activist Shane Claiborne, Jack Payden-Travers of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, and Pat Hostetter Martin, are leading a public forum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Stories of Conscience and Taxes in a Culture of War.