Anti-Abortion Tax Resister Triumphs in Court

Some tabs that I have flipped through in recent days:

From the Smithtown News:

Anti-War Rally

Protestors In Post Office Line Up

By Robert J. Hendriks

In , John Stamm remembers demonstrating against laws which banned blacks from being served in restaurants. Through , the St. James resident has participated in rally after rally for cause upon cause and he still believes his efforts mean something.

That’s why he stood outside of the Smithtown Post Office on a cold rainy , among about 10 other demonstrators, rallying for a change in the way the United States spends citizens’ tax dollars. “It’s a catastrophe the way the government spends most of our tax money on destructive weapons,” said the 65-year-old State University of New York at Stony Brook psychology professor.

Mr. Stamm said the government has “erroneous priorities,” particularly in the way it funnels tax dollars to Central America. He said by demonstrating, he is nurturing democratic policies. “This kind of peaceful demonstration is important to our democracy and it should be practiced,” he said.

Mr. Stamm said history has proven that demonstrations work, with the advent of civil rights laws in due to demonstrations and the reaction to demonstrations by public officials over the Vietnam War. “The end of Vietnam was influenced by demonstrations,” said Mr. Stamm. “Yes, they work. But I think a more important reason is because that’s the right way to do it. It’s part of our citizenship to do it. It’s part of the democracy.”

The demonstrators reminded taxpayers, who were filing their annual income tax return at the post office, opened until midnight for taxpayers convenience, that a portion of the money they paid the federal government is going towards the war in Central America. “Every El Salvadorian killed because of U.S. military aid is also killed because of U.S. citizens paying military taxes,” says a brochure handed out by the protestors.

The brochure encouraged taxpayers to resist paying war tax. “Tax refusal gives us a means of sharing our growing personal power,” says the brochure. “We can use our tax money to help empower, free, and support the lives of other individuals, rather than allowing it to be used against us all.”

Judy Winkler, a demonstrator who says she is a war tax resistor, said she redirects a portion of her would-be tax dollars to the World Peace Tax Escrow Account, a Long Island based alternative fund for those unwilling to pay a percent of their taxes to the government. Ms. Winkler said the group contributing to the three year old fund was able to donate $500 worth of food to the the Food Pantry just from the interest the fund has gained.

Ms. Winkler, a freelance editor who works in St. James and lives in Setauket, has received numerous letters from the Internal Revenue Service asking for the money she withheld. But she has not given in. “I’m more afraid of getting blown up,” she said.

The 43-year-old lived through , she said, but opposed the way demonstrators communicated their beliefs. “I was not active in because I felt there was a lot of violence implicit in the demonstrations,” she said. “Strange as it may seem, I have become active because I feel optimistic. I love my job I love my family, and demonstrating is consistent with my values. I feel good doing it.”

From the Syracuse Post-Standard:

Few Drawn to Pacifist Tax Protest

 — A demonstration assailing the use of tax money to finance the Vietnam war drew barely 50 persons to the Internal Revenue Service building , compared to thousands at a similar protest .

A thin line of protesters handed out slices of apple pie symbolizing government spending. They argued that the war “gets the biggest slice of pie.”

Speakers at the demonstration, organized by War Tax Resistance, included David Dellinger, one of the five militant leftists found guilty last year of crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot at the Democratic national convention in Chicago in .

This year, as last, the tax protest was held on the last day on which income tax returns may be legally filed.