War Tax Resistance Hits the Papers Early This Year

Is it just me or are the newspaper articles about war tax resistance coming earlier and more often ? We’re a long way from , which is our traditional fifteen minutes of fame, and yet we’re getting a lot of ink lately.

Today: “Their objections to war lead activists to do battle with IRS” from The Register-Guard of Eugene, Oregon.

Alas, the article hits my pet peeve which is to overstate the difficulty of living under the tax line: “Others dodge the Internal Revenue Service entirely or reconfigure their lives to live below the taxable level — $7,950 in income for a single person under 65, according to the IRS.”

The Daily Texan chimes in with its article “Taxes withheld in protest.”

“Of course there are legal repercussions and risks with refusing to pay taxes,” said Ruth Benn, spokeswoman for NWTRCC, who has not paid her taxes . “Those of us who really refuse to pay are looking at what U.S. tax dollars are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that far outweighs anything that the IRS could do to me.”

“I don’t think I’ve seen a time when so many people have made the connection to their tax dollars and war” ―Ruth Benn

Meanwhile, tax resister Lucky White Girl reminisces about paying taxes and tells us that she misses it.

I have no regrets about not paying my taxes. (Well, only that I didn’t stop paying them sooner than I did.) But I do miss paying directly for things I do like and I think that if I ever get to live abroad in a country I can respect that’s one thing I want to be able to do again. Pay taxes. Be a participant of a truly democratic society, instead of a conscientious objector to an oppressive one.

Joey King reports from the Cumberland Greens Bioregional Council Winter Gathering about his efforts “to network with groups outside the Libertarian Party in an effort to build coalitions.”

Karl Meyer, a nationally known war tax resister with the War Resisters League, spoke on the need to deny the government one of the things it needs most to conduct war… income tax dollars. He also wanted to publicize the fact that 5000 National Guardsmen and Reservists have failed to report for duty. Again, his words mirrored many Libertarians. He is speaking at the Libertarian Party of Tennessee’s state convention this year.

“If progressives fail to resist militarism… through the one form of participation that is demanded, that is to pay taxes, they should give up their pretensions to being in opposition.” ―Karl Meyer

You may have heard that there’s a bit of a kerfluffle about a professor by the name of Ward Churchill and an article he wrote about the attacks being an example of chickens coming home to roost. I think I remember seeing Churchill’s article floating around the web months and months ago, but recently the right-wing anger battalion discovered it and went nuclear over sections like this one:

The most that can honestly be said of those involved on is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to their people as a matter of course.… ¶ They did not license themselves to “target innocent civilians.”

There is simply no argument to be made that the Pentagon personnel killed on fill that bill. The building and those inside comprised military targets, pure and simple. As to those in the World Trade Center…

Well, really. Let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire — the “mighty engine of profit” to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved — and they did so both willingly and knowingly… To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in — and in many cases excelling at — it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.

I suspect that Churchill was probably disappointed to have dropped a bomb like that without much of an explosion. Turns out the fuse was longer than expected. Now he’s catching hell from the political corrections vigilantes who want him run out of town.

And not only that, but war tax resister Carol Moore gave him a good talking to as well. Churchill is the author of Pacifism as Pathology: Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America, while Moore is skeptical about the value of violent revolutionary struggle and, while not a doctrinaire pacifist, thinks non-violent direct action is a better place to start.

In Churchill spoke at the National Conference on Organized Resistance at American University.… Churchill stressed that the only thing that is moral is what works for the revolution, that a wide variety of types of violence is justified, that “winning” attracts people and losing does not, and that activists should prepare for the inevitable government crackdown by buying lots [of] guns.…

[I] commented that anyone who has the guts to stone cops and get into armed revolution, sure as heck better have the guts to stop paying taxes and thereby stop supporting the war machine and the militarization of law enforcement. He replied with an obvious lie, asserting that Jews in Nazi Germany did do tax resistance, as well as a great deal of other nonviolent civil disobedience, and it was all useless.…

Later that morning Churchill quickly walked by me, obviously eager to avoid more confrontational conversation. As he fled, I called out, “Hey, Ward, you’ve got to stop paying those taxes!!”

“My conscience will not allow me to pay for violence and war by the state.” ―Carol Moore