War Tax Resistance in Spain

More Spanish war tax resistance and redirection news from Rojo y Negro (translation mine, and I’m not exactly fluent):

Tax Resistance for Resistance Funds

War Tax Resistance (WTR) is the refusal to collaborate with one of the worst ways in which capitalism extends worldwide: with militarism and war, even if the spin as of late is “humanitarian interventions” or “wars against terrorism.”

What is War Tax Resistance / WTR?

With WTR we are actively resisting military spending at the moment we fill out our income tax return. At a purely technical level, this would consist of deducting from our taxes the part that is destined to be spent for military purposes.

With WTR we are not encouraging or promoting some sort of “a la carte taxation” as some people believe, as though it were not being used as a tool for civil disobedience, which is to say, to disobey and to disrupt, publicly and collectively, a law or rule that is considered unjust, seeking to overcome it together (in this case, military spending and militarism).

The ultimate goal of WTR is the elimination of armies, military research, and the military-industrial complex, through a progressive reduction in military spending. By resisting war taxes we show our collective refusal of military spending in particular and militarism in general, at the same time that we are in solidarity with other struggles taking place in our society by means of the projects we select.

With the money that we redirect when we file our WTR returns, the CGT aims to financially support concrete struggles, resistance funds, or social projects related to anarcho-syndicalist organization and ideas. Providing these funds that are withheld via our acts of disobedience is achieved by carrying out social projects that do not receive subsidies, and that allow continued working for a more just and equitable society:

Project One: Home Territory

We are women from various countries, of different nationalities and experiences. Some have legal documents, others do not. We do domestic labor. We have certain work conditions that make us very vulnerable. The difficult conditions and fear function to isolate and separate us.

For this reason we have decided to struggle together, in a real challenge to isolation and fear, as a way to make us stronger.

Domestic work sustains the life of thousands of households daily, and, nevertheless, is invisible, undervalued labor. We want this to change and to be included in the Régimen General, an important step in the recognition of its value. Also that undocumented workers should have the same rights as everyone else. We cannot forget that this work is moving out of the hands of some women (those of Northern countries) to others (those of Southern countries), making the problem far from disappear, but globalize.

Project Two: Antimilitarism in Paraguay

For years in Paraguay various antimilitarist groups have been working for a demilitarized society and are supporting other struggles (peasants, human rights, the youth movement, etc.).

Tax Resistance will be dedicated to supporting the antimilitarist movement in Paraguay and the action that War Resisters International has prepared for the , which this year focuses on the situation in Paraguay.

If you thought the “dissent = treason” equation was fun when you saw it on the chalkboards during the last administration, you’ll love the new progressive remake of this timeless classic.

The latest ugly incarnation of this idea comes from Melissa Harris-Lacewell at The Notion, the blog associated with the leftie magazine The Nation.

The gist of her essay is that the ObamaCare refuseniks are not just bad-tempered but positively seditious in their denial that the government has the right to force its idea of a national health care plan down our throats. The protesters might as well be the Ku Klux Klan disrupting “our new Reconstruction” with “the descent of a vicious new Jim Crow terrorism.”

That overblown and offensive metaphor (illustrated with a still from the movie Birth of a Nation in which a crew of Ku Kluxers are in mid-lynch), though it forms the central thesis of the rant, isn’t even the worst of it. (Nor is Harris-Lacewell alone with such exaggerated comparisons: a protester put a brick through the window of a congressman’s office? — It’s Kristallnacht all over again!)

For one thing, there’s the way Harris-Lacewell describes John Lewis, who “was severely beaten [by police] 45 years ago when he tried to lead a group of brave citizens across the Edmund Pettus bridge in an effort to secure voting rights for black Americans.” Now Lewis is a congressman, and an ObamaCare supporter. The papers quoted an unnamed colleague of Lewis as saying that a protester was heard yelling out at Lewis: “kill the bill, then the nigger.”

Which is worse? An active, ongoing, open conspiracy by government forces to brutally repress people trying to assert their civil rights, or an unhinged protester yelling racist threats as a Congressman passes by? The latter clearly! Why? “When [Lewis] is attacked by protesters, he is himself an agent of the state. This difference is critically important; not because it changes the fact that racism is present in both moments, but because it radically alters the way we should understand the meaning of power, protest and race.… John Lewis is no longer just a brave American fighting for the soul of his country — he is an elected official. He is an embodiment of the state.”

Amazingly, Harris-Lacewell bolsters this argument with this:

I often begin my political science courses with a brief introduction to the idea of “the state.” The state is the entity that has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, force and coercion. If an individual travels to another country and kills its citizens, we call it terrorism. If the state does it, we call it war. If a man kills his neighbor it is murder; if the state does it is the death penalty. If an individual takes his neighbor’s money, it is theft; if the state does it, it is taxation.

This, mind you, is her argument for why the state is a good thing, and those who oppose it are wicked. It has all the charm of a sermon that begins “Satan wants to steal our souls and subject us to eternal torment to feed the selfish glory of his own evil,” and ends, “hail Satan!”

Still, a liberal friend of mine earnestly forwarded a link to this article to his friends, solemnly remarking: “Indeed, the Tea Partiers are dancing right around the borderline of sedition. They’re objecting to the lawful authority of the state.” If only they would!