Tax Resistance in Germany, Venezuela, Italy, the U.S., and Britain

Netwerk Friedenssteuer

Your Picket Line international tax resistance round-up:

  • Neue Rheinische Zeitung covers Germany’s Netzwerk Friedenssteuer, or “peace tax network.” This includes resisters like Dorothee Sölle, and like Brigitte Janus, who refuses to pay her taxes and instead submits to seizure. The article also briefly mentions the recent international conference in Norway. Sölle is quoted as saying of the war tax resistance movement: “Success cannot be our only criterion. There are things you must do so that you remain human.” (Or something like that. The quote is in German, which I do not understand.)
  • The right-wing, decentralist Liberal Democratic Movement of Carabobo, Venezuela is hinting at a tax resistance campaign. Upset at deteriorating public safety and infrastructure, and alleging that local taxes are being siphoned off to wasteful federal spending and a bloated local bureaucracy, Enio Daza, autonomism director of the Carabobo branch of the party, suggested that locals organize their own, independent tax office, and pay their taxes there where they could exercise local control over the spending.
  • A similar movement is brewing in Sicily, where a group of residents angered at government neglect of the sewer system, public lighting, the water supply, and waste collection, has proposed a tax strike.
  • West Coast Cannabis profiles tax resister J. Tony Serra, who is also active in the cannabis legalization cause. He is skeptical of an upcoming California ballot initiative to legalize-and-tax marijuana. “Once it is legalized the greedy corporations will get their hands in it and it creates this corporate moral disability. Some large dispensaries already practice acts of corporate moral disability. I want it to stay with the mammas and the pappas. The small and unique places. I want the government out of my closet. It should be free, man. I am never for more taxes. I am a tax resister.”
  • The Albert Einstein Institution has released a new, free booklet, Self-Liberation: A Guide to Strategic Planning for Action to End a Dictatorship or Other Oppression. The booklet contains several selections by Gene Sharp and others about how to use “people power” in the form of nonviolent struggle against repressive governments.
  • In the sort of scene that is coming, more and more, to characterize 21st Century America, county health inspectors shut down a little girl’s lemonade stand for lacking a $120 permit, leaving her in tears. Now a group of free-market anarchists are organizing a lemonade-in in support.

The Vote

From the issue of The Vote:

Tax Resistance.

Miss Neiligan, late headmistress of the Croydon High School, who has resided for nearly forty years in the neighbourhood, and is widely known and respected, had some of her silver sold at public auction for the non-payment of Imperial taxes. Mrs. [Anne] Cobden-Sanderson, representing the Women’s Tax Resistance League, was, by courtesy of the auctioneer, allowed to explain the reason of the protest. Judging by the applause with which her remarks were received, most of those present were in sympathy. Mrs. Clarendon Hyde, on behalf of Miss Neiligan, bought the article for a sum slightly exceeding the claim. A meeting was afterwards held, at which most of the Suffrage Societies were represented. Mrs. Cameron Swann (Chair), Mrs. Cobden-Sanderson, and Mrs. Hyde were the speakers. A resolution was unanimously passed, calling on the Government to bring in a Women’s Franchise Bill next year.