Russell Kanning Tilts at IRS Office Windmill

Russell Kanning, editor of the Keene Free Press, and a war tax resister well-known in “Free State Project” circles (a project that is encouraging libertarian-minded people to move to New Hampshire in the hopes of forming a political critical mass), was arrested — twice —  for visiting the IRS office in Keene, New Hampshire with the intent of handing leaflets to its employees.

The leaflets quote the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal: “Anyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent the commission of the Crimes.” The reverse side is a sample letter that IRS employees could send President Bush to announce that they are resigning their jobs.

“The U.S. government is killing people around the world to expand its power base,” Kanning said, “It is using our neighbors as cannon fodder and your money to accomplish the evil deed. They are building an empire on our backs and in our names. They are imprisoning or killing those that oppose them. Enough is enough.

“Gandhi called his non-cooperation with evil a campaign of civil disobedience. I am calling it ‘Tilting at Windmills’. An individual seems powerless against the lone global superpower, but it is the individual consent of everyone that empowers them. So the power is in our hands to bring down this rotten government.”

He was arrested by agents from the Department of Homeland Security and charged with distributing materials in a federal building and failure to obey a lawful order. After he was booked and released, he immediately returned to the IRS office to try again (without the leaflets, which had been confiscated). He was arrested again, this time charged with disorderly conduct.

“I never got to talk with the IRS workers,” he says, “but I did get to ask some Homeland Security guys to quit.”