Some bits and pieces from around the web:
- Siân Cwper, a member of the Peace Tax Seven group that is trying to get conscientious objection to military taxation legalized in some pan-European legal forum, ran into some strangely passive-aggressive government opposition to her tax resistance: They told her that she actually overpaid her taxes by mistake and is due a refund.
- Here’s a Greenfield Recorder article about Thomas Wilson, the tax resisting dentist who was featured in the latest More Than a Paycheck.
- William Perez gives us the low-down on tax provisions in the recent bailout legislation. None of this much mattered to me, but if you think you’ll have mortgage debt canceled, or install energy efficient or alternative energy related equipment or an electric car, or if you commute to your employer by bike, or paid tuition, or spent money on classroom supplies as a teacher, or paid property tax, or live in a disaster zone, there may be something of use to you there. And you’ll need all the help you can get, once you see the bill.
- I’ve admired the anti-war protesters in Olympia who periodically try to blockade the port there in an attempt to interfere with shipments of war materiel. So far none of the people who have participated in these blockades have been successfully prosecuted. But the port commission has decided to take the law into their own hands — they’re filing civil lawsuits against the blockaders. I can’t imagine they see this as a cost-effective way of recovering the expenses the blockades have cost, but they may see it as a useful discouragement along the lines of a SLAPP suit. I suppose we should expect more of this sort of thing — as more of the more execrable parts of government become quasi-privatized and generate profit for somebody, nonviolent resistance against these will cut into the profits of folks who can respond by filing suits to recover damages.
- I’m keeping one eye on a tax protest going on in Iran. For a week, a strike spread amongst the vendors in Tehran’s bazaar until hardly any were open for business. They were protesting a new VAT that would have applied to them. Apparently this was a nonviolent resistance tactic that bazaar merchants used successfully before the revolution, but this is the first time they’ve done it since. The government has tried persuasion and token concessions with only some success, and analysts see the protest as part of more widespread anger about the government’s handling of economic issues, and an attempt to flex the muscles of the merchants’ union. As it is right now, it’s mostly just a protest against a tax rather than conscientious objection or tactical nonviolent resistance. But it could be the seed that grows into something bigger.
- Taxpatriate satyagrahi Jeff Knaebel has another meditation on political freedom up at LewRockwell.com.