War Tax Resister Arrested for Leafletting Oak Ridge Nuke Site

From the issue of the Kentucky New Era (and with many typos faithfully reproduced):

Pamphlets Are Distributed At Oak Ridge; Pacifist Is Blamed

A self-described pacifist was picked up by police today while distributing leaflets inside the restricted area of the Oak Ridge atomic plants.

Atomic energy Commission security officers identified the man as K. James Otsuka, 29 of Richmond, Ind., They said he was questioned by security officers and FBI agents and released.

Otsuka said he was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and the Peacemakers. He described the latter organization as a “pacific group which objects to war or the preparation for war.”

He said he gained entrance to the close-guarded area by boarding a bus carrying construction workers inside it.

“No one asked me for a pass,” he declared. “The guards must have assumed I was a worker.”

The leaflets Otsuka distributed outside the K-25 plant — the one which makes uranium-2-35 by the gaseous diffusion process — protested the use of tax money for “weapons of human destruction.”

A statement from the AEC security office said Otsuka was under observation from the time he lighted from the bus.

Otsuka said he was a maintenance worker on the farm of Perry Kissick near Richmond. He said he planned to return to Indiana this afternoon.

The leaflets he distributed said in part:

“I came today to burn at that hour 70 percent of a dollar bill, symbolizing the percentage of taxes which, according to our president, Harry Truman, is being used for military preparation and for fighting the cold war.”

At another point the pamphlet said:

“Thought we must stop serving Mammon, we must stop being afraid and start acting for peace courageously, as Jesus and Ghandi fighting the cold war.”

Otsuka, an Earlham (Ind.) College student, recently was released from the federal correctional institution at Ashland, Ky., after serving five months for refusal to pay his income tax.

And, from the Schenectady Gazette (excerpts):

Millions of Americans rushed to beat the midnight deadline for filing income taxes . All of them moaned and a few rugged individualists flatly refused to pay.

“Conscious [sic] Objectors” Refuse

Across the nation there were isolated cases of “conscientious objectors”, who refused to file returns.

Three Iowans and three New Yorkers balked at paying taxes because of President Truman’s decision to develop the hydrogen bomb.

In the nation’s largest city, 16 pickets paraded before the internal revenue offices during the lunch hour , carrying signs which read “Don’t pay your income tax. Refuse to finance World War Ⅲ.” and “Your taxes pay for the H-bomb.”

In Yellow Springs, Ohio, an aged bed-ridden Quaker widow and six of her neighbors refused to pay part of their taxes as a protest against use of tax money for military purposes. The widow withheld 30.25 per cent of her tax, the amount she estimated would go for national defense.

Minister Refuses to Pay

In Boston, a minister wrote revenue collectors that “as long as the bulk of federal tax dollars goes to pay for past and future wars, I must refuse to pay the tax.”

And, from The Times-News of Hendersonville, North Carolina, :

Revenue Agents Headed For Miss. Town To Collect From Lady Editor

By Robert F. Loftus

The Treasury had news for that lady editor in Summit, Miss., who says she won’t pay her social security taxes.

Revenue agents are headed her way.

Mrs. Mary D. Cain, editor of the weekly Summit Sun, wrote an open letter to Secretary of Treasury John W. Snyder the other day denouncing social security as illegal and immoral. She said she could take care of her own old-age — when it arrives.

Mrs. Cain said she wouldn’t pay the taxes for herself or deduct them from her employes’ wages. And what was Snyder going to do about it?

“Shades of Vivian Kellems,” Snyder muttered, or something like that.

What he meant was that this wasn’t the first time in his memory that a woman has tried to start a taxpayers’ rebellion.

Mrs. Kellems, a Connecticut manufacturer, gave Synder quite a headache about a year ago by refusing to collect withholding takes [sic] from her employes. She said she wasn’t working for the Treasury and Snyder could do his own tax collecting.

Snyder had to take her to court, but he got his taxes. And Mrs. Kellems collects them for him now. She wasn’t fined or sent to jail because she wasn’t trying to evade payment.

Treasury spokesmen said Mrs. Cain may not be so lucky if she insists on challenging the tax law.

They said revenue agents will be in to see her as soon as they look over her income tax return, which is due in the Jackson, Miss., collector’s office by , if she hasn’t already filed.

Mrs. Cain, being her own boss, is supposed to pay her own social security taxes via the self-employment tax, which she has to pay along with her regular income tax.

Like other employers, she also is required to deduct social security taxes from her employes’ wages each payday and to send the money to the Internal Revenue Bureau at the end of each quarter. Her next such payment is due , and the bureau said it will keep an eye out for it.

The bureau said “several” persons besides Mrs. Cain have refused to pay the social security taxes. It would not identify them, but they’re in the same boat with the fiery lady from Summit, who wound up her open letter like this:

“I’ve had enough of the New Deal. I’m sick of the whole Truman administration. Pop your whip, Mr. Snyder, I am ready.”

Treasury spokesmen said Snyder probably wouldn’t think of using a whip on a lady. But they noted that the law carries pretty stiff penalties for taxpayers of either sex who refuse to pay their social security taxes.

Willful failure to file a return and pay the taxes is a misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $10,000 or one year in jail, or both. And a willful attempt to evade or defeat the tax laws could cost the offender a maximum of five years in jail, plus a $10,000 fine.