Basque War Tax Resisters Victims of Their Own Success

From El Salto Diario (translation mine):

Military Spending

The tax resistance campaign in the Basque Autonomous Community has more adherents than in

One of the new elements of the campaign against payment of taxes destined for military spending is a workshop in which those interested can make out their return on their own.

The number of people who resist taxes for military spending rises every year in the Basque Country. The Eragozpen Fiskala-Objeción Fiscal platform has accounted for at least as many disobedient tax returns as with almost a month still to go before the tax filing season ends. This is the third year that offices have been established in three Basque capitals to help people not to collaborate with the State’s war taxes.

“It reminds me of the assemblies [permanencias], during draft resistance [insumisión],” says Idoia Aldazabal about her experience in the Bilbao office. Then, the antimilitarist movement was focused on stopping mandatory military service. The objectors refused to take part, disobeying the laws. For one or two days a week, they met in some location to share their doubts, talk with other people about civil disobedience, give support, etc. “It’s a way to do politics, in a sense of togetherness, of welcome,” explained this activist.

“We work from non-violent direct action,” explains Arrate Vivar, who is also part of the conscientious objector movement. Vivar says that once the struggle to end the draft was complete, the antimilitarists could devote more energy to other paths to do away with the military, in this case by attacking the budget. The law does not have a category for tax resistance; it’s alegal, that is to say, an irregular but not illegal way to file. “It’s one of the few ways that we have to protest,” says Vivar in reference to the backlash on civil rights and political rights because of the Gag Law.

they redirected some 100,000 euros to social projects by means of tax resistance. The figure is still far from the nearly €20 billion in military spending anticipated in the General State Budget from the Partido Popular. However, more and more people are rebelling in the face of this situation.

at least two people are preparing returns each weekend in the office, and they have nearly all shifts filled . “We are, as they say, victims of our own success,” jokes Miguel Martínez, also a KEM-MOC activist. one of the challenges facing the campaign is to meet the need for help from all the people who have been interested.

To meet this need, for the first time , a workshop was held in which the participants, with the help of one person, made out their own tax return including tax resistance. “This is more empowering and more participatory,” explained Martínez, who notes that the objective is for the people to become capable of resisting on their own, in order to free up the office so it can bring in new people. “If in the future 10,000 people do tax resistance in the Basque Country and we finish off the military, we won’t be able to attend to all of them,” he says with some wishful thinking.