U.S. War Tax Resisters to Meet in Oakland, California

The crew from Northern California War Tax Resistance has been hard at work planning for the upcoming national gathering of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, which will be held from in Berkeley and Oakland. (You can find detailed information and a registration form at the NWTRCC website.)

’s program at the Berkeley Friends Church starts in the evening, with the registration table open at , dinner at , and introductions and orientation starting at . At there will be a panel on innovations in social justice networking featuring Maritza Schäfer (who specializes in helping activist groups form their outreach strategies, and whom I know from her work with the Abundance League) and Mira Luna, an innovator of alternative local economic models such as the Bay Area Community Exchange.

On we move to the United Methodist Church on the shore of Lake Merritt in Oakland. Breakfast starts at , and the program at . At you’ll have a choice of workshops:

  1. Outreach strategies and social justice networking
  2. Techniques of simple living/low-income tax resistance
  3. Confrontational war tax resistance

In the early afternoon we’ll have informal small-group discussions as we take sack lunches outside for a walk around the lake or a picnic in the park. Then, from we’ll hold our War Tax Resistance 101 and 202 classes. The 101 is intended for newbies and people curious about war tax resistance, and attendees will get an overview of the various methods of tax resistance and how to choose a method that fits your goals and your lifestyle. There will be two 202 sessions for experienced resisters to talk shop about the latest developments, current challenges, and emerging techniques in resistance — one for the low-income/simple-living set, and another for the refuse-to-pay or refuse-to-file set.

After this will be a set of afternoon seminars. You have the choice of attending a presentation by Michael Eisenscher on the New Priorities Network or attending two of the following shorter seminars (which will be repeating back-to-back):

  1. Selective Service Resistance with Edward Hasbrouck
  2. Swadeshi Homebrew with tax resistance homebrewer David Gross
  3. Using the NWTRCC Thoreau Education Packet with Bill Ramsey

After Dinner our evening program begins, featuring a granting ceremony in which our local alternative fund — The People’s Life Fund — gives grants of redirected tax dollars to deserving local groups, entertainment by musician Francisco Herrera and YouthSpeaks, and a talk from radical lawyer and two-time prisoner of war tax resistance J. Tony Serra.

we move back to Berkeley and have the business meeting of the coordinating committee of NWTRCC (that means anyone who considers themselves part of the group and cares to show up) at Berkeley CoHousing.

If you can make it out to this, it’s worth it. You’ll meet people who have been resisting for decades and who use a variety of methods. It’s a great way to learn more about resisting taxes and about the variety of approaches to conscientious activism.