More Tax Refusal from the Pages of “Freedom”

Here are some more bits I found in back issues of the British anarchist weekly Freedom.

From the issue:

41 Refuse to Pay Income Tax

25 men and 16 women, in scattered parts of the United States, announced recently that they would refuse to comply with the federal income tax laws. They released the following statement to the press through a Tax Refusal Committee of “Peacemakers,” national pacifist group with headquarters in New York City:

Believing that men are accountable for their actions, and that laws requiring immoral acts should not be obeyed, we have after serious consideration determined upon a course of civil disobedience with relation to the income tax laws of the United States.

We are united in affirming the brotherhood of all men, and we are therefore unwilling to contribute to preparations for war. We renounce the ways of war and violence, and call upon our fellow men in all countries to lay down their arms, to renounce forever dependence upon violence and murder to protect their property, their lives, and their ideals. We testify the methods of violence have failed utterly, and that they have failed because they are morally wrong. We plead with our fellow citizens of the United States to join us in acting for peace by refusing to manufacture weapons of war, refusing to serve in the armed forces, and refusing to finance war preparations. We urge them to join us in working together in love and non-violence for a world in which peace replaces conflict, abundance replaces want, and freedom and equality replace tyranny and injustice.

The Committee stated that some of those refusing would pay no portion of their tax, since they maintain that the major activity of the federal government at this time is war. They point out that 80 per cent. of the national budget is devoted to “past, present, and future wars.” Others will refuse to pay that percentage of their tax which corresponds with the percentage which the government spends for military preparations.

“Peacemakers” has been prominent in the news recently for advocating that young men of draft age refuse to register for Selective Service. Several of their number have been sentenced to prison terms, while others are now awaiting trial.

From the issue:

Tax Refusal

What is the next move after Aldermaston? It would be tragic if the Campaign were now to stand still and take no positive action for months.

A rally 100,000 strong against the bomb is a major success. What a victory it would be if those 100,000 followed their action through to its logical conclusion.

If we are prepared to march against the H-bomb how can we go on helping to pay for its manufacture and for the farce of civil defence? Tax refusals have a long and honourable history dating from the 17th century when John Hampden refused to pay “Ship money” to the despotic Stuart monarchy. “No taxation without representation” was the slogan of the American colonists and of the people in the women’s franchise movement. It might equally well be ours in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today.

There will be a meeting to plan a campaign of revenue refusals on , at the Student Movement House, Gower Street, London, W.C.1 In the morning rates refusals and suing borough councils will be discussed; in the afternoon, income tax refusals.

Pamela Frankau and Doris Lessing as well as a number of other well-known people have promised to come to the afternoon meeting. We hope that all those interested in taking action along these lines will attend the meeting — including those on PAYE for whom certain lines of action may be possible.

April Carter, Secretary.
Pat Arrowsmith, Field Secretary.
(Direct Action Committee).