Overthrow the Government, By Force, But Not By Violence

“I advocate overthrowing the government by force but not by violence, and tax refusal is but one of the cutting edges and forces that are available to us.” — David Dellinger, , in Washington, D.C. at the Vietnam Moratorium rally

It’s in the United States — the deadline for mailing in annual income tax returns. Activists of various flavors are making noise today, and if you think you might like to join in, you can pick one of the war tax resistance actions going on nationwide , hang out with CodePink at a TEA party, join up with libertarians to hand out propaganda at the post office, or maybe set up a penny poll of your own.

is also the annual 15 Minutes of Fame day for war tax resisters, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for media mentions. I was invited on something called “The Mancow Show” this morning. The host was some sort of weird, pro-wrestling-like caricature who solemnly says things like “if you cut me, I bleed red, white, and blue.” His show is one of those short attention span things that are mostly sound effects and snippets and soundbites and running jokes. Pretty much a waste of time; live and learn.

This evening I’ll be attending the People’s Life Fund granting ceremony. Many war tax resisters in the San Francisco bay area deposit the taxes they “owe” in this Fund rather than sending them to the U.S. Treasury (some with the option of reclaiming these deposits should the IRS seize money from them). Each year, the Fund gives away any interest and dividends earned on these deposits to various charities. the Fund is giving away some $20,000 to over twenty groups.

Late in life, Vivien Kellems was still finding fresh reasons to resist her taxes. She failed to get income tax withholding or the income tax itself ruled unconstitutional, so at 72, she tried to fight it as discriminatory: From the St. Petersburg Times:

She’s On A Last Crusade

A 72-year-old spinster vowed she wasn’t going to pay any more income taxes until the government refunds the $73,000 extra she says she has paid over the last 20 years, just because she is unmarried.

Miss Vivien Kellems of East Haddam, Conn., who has tangled with the Treasury before, made her pledge in a letter to Treasury Secretary David M. Kennedy which protested the higher tax rates that have applied to single persons since .

“I’m an old woman,” Miss Kellems said. “This is my last crusade. I’m not going to pay unless they settle with me. … I’ll go to court if necessary.”

Miss Kellems said she would have refused to pay sooner, but that she did not realize, until last winter, the tax rate for single persons is higher than for married persons.

In her letter to Kennedy, dated , Miss Kellems said: “ I have mailed Form 1040 to the International Revenue Service, Andover, Mass. … I have signed this form but I have not paid the tax.

“Nor am I going to pay any more income taxes until you have returned to me the sum of $73,409.03, the amount of income taxes, plus 6 per cent interest, illegally taken from me over the past 20 years because I have no husband.”

“If you can tax me because I am single, you can tax me because my eyes are gray, my hair is white, or I am 72 years old. I have no more control over these conditions than I have over my marital status. How many eligible, single men aged 72 or thereabouts do you know?” she asked Kennedy.