Adam Kokesh Launches “Slave Uprising”

An American libertarian-oriented tax resistance movement is starting up. They’re calling it a Slave Uprising.

Two thousand years ago, a Roman Senator suggested that all slaves wear white armbands to better identify them.

“No,” said a wiser Senator, “If they see how many of them there are, they may revolt.”

Starting on , we are calling on all champions of liberty to wear a white armband to affirm your commitment to resisting tax slavery.

Campaign organizer Adam Kokesh, who is also a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, explained: “The white band is a symbol that represents our unity and identity as citizens of the United States Empire who refuse to be slaves. The white armband is an affirmation of our commitment to resist the Federal income tax.” While the campaign has a libertarian bent, much of its rhetoric would not be out-of-place in the more left-oriented war tax resistance movement:

“I will no longer work for unjust warfare.
 I will no longer work for bailouts.
 I will no longer work so that I can be spied on.
 I will no longer work for torture.
 We refuse to be enslaved.”

They’ve also printed up “Certificates of Debt” to show people how much they individually owe as a result of the government’s deficit spending.

Ruth Benn has expanded on her impressions of the 12th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns over at the NWTRCC website.

Included with that article is another by Ed Hedemann in which he compares war tax resistance in the U.S. with that in other countries, particularly those in Europe. Excerpts:

U.S. peace activists who want to refuse to pay for war have it easy, at least compared to most of the rest of the world. In the United States, everyone who wants to resist taxes can do so.

We must file — or refuse to file — income tax returns, which makes refusal possible, whereas in most countries that option doesn’t exist. For example, in Britain, unless you’re self-employed, there is no income tax return to file. Income taxes are taken directly from your paycheck (through Pay As You Earn — PAYE) and employees cannot control the amount that is withheld unless their employer is willing to be complicit…

…The consequences for those who are able to resist (mostly the self-employed) are also a bit different. Generally, a court order is required in Britain to seize personal property, which is done more frequently than in the United States. In other countries (such as Germany), if there is a judgment against a resister, tax agents can come to your house and put stickers on personal property (TV set, computer, bicycle, etc.) to indicate that these items will be seized in 30 days unless the government gets paid. Also, it appears that the percentage of resisters being sent to jail — though small in number (only four in the last 20 years) — is higher in Britain than in the United States. The sentences have ranged from a week to four weeks.

As a result of these restrictions, the numbers of war tax resisters in other countries are much smaller than the several thousand in the United States. For example, in Belgium, only one person is known to be a war tax resister.

Benn and Hedemann both note the differences between the peace tax fund proposals in Europe from the one in the United States. In the U.S., the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act would wall off federal military spending from other federal spending and would mandate that tax contributions from conscientious objectors could only be applied to the non-military budget items. The proposals of European peace tax fund plan advocates, by contrast, “are geared towards having their taxes put into new programs established to develop systems of nonviolent defense as an alternative to the military.”

A few short bits: