I.R.S. Backs Down in Cindy Sheehan Case

A bunch happened while I was away and I’m only just getting caught up. Here’s the highlight reel:

In regards to the summons issued to you, after further review the Internal Revenue Service has decided to withdraw the summons served on November 11, 2011.
  • The IRS has been pursuing war tax resister Cindy Sheehan for months, and not long ago they hauled her into court to try to get a judge to order her to cough up financial information they could use against her. She fought back, with help from NWTRCC and its legal advisor. The IRS has apparently thrown in the towel! Sheehan posted to her blog a letter she got from the agency in which it informs her that they have withdrawn their summons.
  • There’s a new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter on-line, with content including:
  • A coalition of groups have organized a “Pull the Pork (from the Pentagon)” national day of action to try to point out that the sacred cow of Pentagon spending is really a pricey pig in a poke.
  • Levante profiles ecological and antimilitarist activist Francesc García Barberà, who was involved in the Spanish struggle for the recognition of conscientious objection to military service, and in its war tax resistance movement. Excerpts (my translation):

    As a conscientious objector, García Barberà performed alternative service in the Barrio del Cristo, where he became involved in the Workers’ Catholic Action Brotherhood, to which he remains linked, as with the objector movement. “The objection is in all of life; it’s not only not doing military service, but it’s rethinking the role of the Army and of military spending. The movement did not end when objection was legalized nor when conscription was abolished,” he notes.

    Today he is associated with pacifist groups, never fails each year to make a symbolic assault on the NATO base in Bétera, and practices tax resistance, like a handful of Alaquàsers of his generation. “We omit the percentage that we estimate is dedicated to military spending (between 7% and 12%) and redirect it to Caritas or some NGO,” he explains, which on some occasions has meant conflict with the Treasury Department. “Armies defend borders when what ought to be defended is a dignified life for people. And even if they are dressed up as humanitarian actions, they serve large vested interests. In a war the strongest wins, not the most just,” he says.

  • Amy Wachspress reminisces about her years as a war tax resister in on her blog.
  • Armies of citizen informers… a behind-the-Iron-Curtain Orwellian nightmare, or the latest IRS business plan? IRS payments to what it calls “whistleblowers” who inform the agency on tax evaders jumped from $8 million in to $125.4 million in . A single $100-million payoff to an informer inside the Swiss bank UBS helped boost the total this year.