The annual tax season “fifteen minutes of fame” for the American war tax resistance movement has begun:
- Vice magazine published a nice feature by Charles Davis titled
“Don’t Pay Your Taxes” that spotlights American war tax resisters like David Hartsough, Susan Quinlan, Erica Weiland, and Ruth Benn.
“They’ve never actually done anything,” Erica Weiland, a 30-year-old activist from Seattle, Washington, told me when I asked her about the consequences of her tax resistance. Weiland generally tries to avoid owing taxes in the first place, but when she does owe something, she files a return without paying a dime. And while she’s received a few letters, she’s never responded, nor had a problem. Freed from the burden of paying for broken fighter jets, she has been able to give money instead to those causes she believes in, which, she said, is “one of the things that’s the most rewarding about being a war-tax resister.”
Weiland learned about tax resistance while working with the group Food Not Bombs, which helps feed the homeless in cities across the United States (at least where its activities are not banned). She met a war refugee from Sri Lanka who refused to accept anything more than room and board as payment for his labor, not wanting to contribute in any way to the sort of violence he witnessed firsthand — funded, in part, by the U.S. government. If a poor immigrant could do it, Weiland decided she could too, and she hopes her actions will send a message that Americans are not as powerless as popularly imagined. “I want to show people that there’s more that we can do to resist war and stop military actions than just marching and sending letters to Congress,” she said.
- NWTRCC put out its annual press release about “Tax Day” protests going on nationwide.
- The Independent Video Archive published a couple of excerpts from television shows first broadcast in concerning the war tax resisters Randy Kehler & Betsy Corner, and Wally Nelson.
- William Ruhaak published his thoughts on “What would Jesus do about paying taxes for war?” on the Pax Christi blog.
- Jack Payden-Travers has commentaries on war tax payment up at WVTF Public Radio and at the Las Vegas Informer.
- The Sonoma Press Democrat covered war tax resister Ruth Paine.
- Engaging Peace published Erica Weiland’s thoughts on war tax resistance.
- SeacoastOnline plugged Seacoast Peace Response’s annual “penny poll” demonstration.