NWTRCC Press Release, Tax Day 2014
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Democracy Now! “War Tax Resisters Mark April 15 with Call to Stop Military Spending” with Lida Shao
vice.com “Don’t Pay Your Taxes”
Philadelphia Tribune “Local residents refuse to fund nation’s war chest”
wagingnonviolence.org “What If They Gave A War and Nobody Paid?” by David Hartsough
Seacoastonline.com “Penny Poll garners residents’ opinions on tax spending”
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Santa Rosa, California
New York, New York
Burlington, North Carolina
Jay Sordean of Northern California War Tax Resistance presents a check to Rhonda Ramiro of BAYAN-USA, one of 27 organizations that received a grant from Northern Calfornia War Tax Resistance’s People’s Life Fund. At the granting ceremony, held at the Berkeley Fellowship if Unitarian Universalists, the PLF redirected a total of $32,000 in resisted taxes to groups working towards social justice and peace. Photo by Susan Quinlan.
This year we worked in coalition more than ever and that felt good, although planning was a bit more complicated. The issues are all related. There was good energy, and the unusually good weather was helpful. We were again at our downtown post office, where groups have assembled on Tax Day since the 1960’s. As usual, we had an enthusiastic penny poll, facilitated by some new and younger people and distributed some WRL fliers.
Our theme was FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE, NOT WAR!, and our keynote speaker was Kelsy Juliana. She is a high school senior and one of youth from all over the country who have taken action pressuring state and the national governments to act forcefully. She and other youth in Oregon have a suit urging our governor to act to decrease the carbon level by 6% a year. Susan Cundiff of WAND crafted a lengthy federal budget graph that she rolled out and explained. In addition we had two labor singers, our local Raging Grannies, and speakers about our corporate influence on our policies and the threat of the TPP. Jobs for Justice as well as some other local groups were also represented.
Tax redirection was a focal point. We emphasized that part of our tax resistance and three of us presented checks amounting to $700 to about 10 groups, most of whom were present to receive them. We were interviewed on Tax Day by a couple of TV stations and covered on our local public radio station.
In addition to our Tax Day event we had several letters to the editor plus a good opinion editorial in our local newspaper. NWTRCC’s social media consultant Erica Weiland from Seattle came the week before Tax Day for two events. In the evening she discussed Tax Resistance as part of a panel of speakers talking about different types of Economic Disobedience. The next day she led a workshop about using social media to promote our causes.
— Sue Barnhart, Taxes for Peace Not War
At the downtown post office in Colorado Springs. “Tax Toss” is another new version of the traditional tax day penny poll. The ever-creative Mary Sprunger-Froese sat behind the tax toss board and tossed out rhymes when the bean bag went through a hole. She says, “If they hit education, I’d say, ‘2-4-6-8, now you get to graduate!’ If they hit military ‘8-6-4-2, you bought a drone - now what will you do? can’t eat it, can’t wear it - you really can’t share it - can’t use it - maybe better to refuse it.’ Environment - ‘I think that I shall never see a plant as endangered as the tree. . .’ The arts - ‘1-3-5-7, now you’ve got a bit o’ heaven. . . .’” Photos by Donna Johnson.
The Human Penny Poll in Austin attracted attention, including an interview with the local Indymedia team. Susan Van Haitsma (photographer) reports: “Five of us were somewhat costumed to represent our categories. I was “War” and just wore black. It was interesting being this category, as most people passed me by, avoiding eye contact, and a few people rather grudgingly put a penny in my jar “for security.”
The results from the penny poll are in! We had a total of 55 individuals participate in the poll, providing their opinion with 550 pennies. Here’s how they want their tax dollars spent:
Education: 208 (37.8%)
Environment: 116 (21.1%)
Housing/Transportation/Infrastructure: 113 (20.6%)
Healthcare: 104 (18.9%)
War: 9 (1.6%)
War Resisters League/Portland turned out for the annual “burma shave on the bridges” tax day protest. There were 12 of us who showed up for ‘Burma Shave’ on the bridges for rush hour...a beautiful day and lots of positive responses from drivers and bikers. Just knowing there are people who will get up early and get the message out is inspiring, and we had a lot of fun with it!
Report and photo by Kima Garrison
Ten of us passed out flyes at the Santa Rosa main Post Office today. The team, pictured below left to right, shows John Boles, George Houser and Nancy Wilkins, and in the other photo (right) John, Anita LaFollett and George. They will be doing a Penny Poll on April 26th when our retirement center is celebrating its 30th birthday.
The local paper gave the tax day leafletting some publicity. Scroll down to the middle of the page for this Press Democrat article by Chris Smith. His lead article today had a middle portion about our plan to be at the Post Office.
Report and photos by Ruth Hyde Paine
I joined the Veterans for Peace Chapter 92 to pass out copies of the pie chart near the downtown post office. It was a sunny day and we had folks handing out the flyers on all four corners of 3rd and Union for about two hours.
I got a typical range of responses, when folks did talk to me after getting a flyer: “thanks for being here,” “oh wow,” “no thanks, I already agree with you,” and a couple of people who disagreed, including one who walked off after telling me that Crimea was an argument for the necessity of military spending, even though he also indicated that he thought the US shouldn’t be involved.
Report and photo by Erica Weiland
Scott Yoos reports on his leafleting with pie charts at the main post office: “Well, this mornin’ my N.O.A.A. weather radio claimed that Olympia was facing a 70-percent chance of RAIN, -but-, (amazingly) ...we were spared that inconvenience fer the WHOLE DANGED DAY! : ) Started around 9:15 am, and was joined by a couple o’ friends from the I-1329 campaign (*Washingtonians: please see: “facebook.com/WAmend.org” for details re: this ambitious citizens’ initiative effort to get on the November 2014 ballot!) That helped the time fly. Finally “packed it in” roundabout 6:30pm. (The Oly. POLICE only hasseled me once! ;- )
For the first time in many years, Tax Day in New York City was rainy with sharply plummeting temperatures. Sadly, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra had to cancel to protect their instruments but weather-proof activists from War Resisters League, Granny Peace Brigade, NYC People’s Life Fund and war tax resisters showed up for the annual vigil and leafleting at the IRS in midtown Manhattan. Sylvia Shirk, Pastor Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship, is pictured top left.
We followed that with a march — accompanied by appropriate chants — through Times Square, past the Armed Forces Recruiting Station, to the main post office at 33rd Street. Luckily, it was not an absolute downpour the whole time but our leafleting was somewhat curtailed by the steady drizzle and damp flyers. A few songs by the Grannies in front of the post office, and we headed home.
Nydia Leaf of the Granny Peace Brigade said, “Considering the ever present threat of a pelting downpour that day, this was a respectable showing. And the flyers at the IRS office were better received than in years past - at least that’s what I experienced.”
Photos by Ed Hedemann
Mikel Komba shared these photos on Facebook of the Casa Maria Catholic Worker annual war tax protest and civil disobedience. Their vigil and protest was outside the U.S. Army Reserve base, where they were joined by Peace Action-Wisconsin.
Brad Lyttle of the Chicago Area War Resisters Support Committee reports that “It was cold (about 40 degrees) in Chicago April 15, but despite that we had a spirited war tax resistance demonstration in Federal Building Plaza.” The annual war tax resistance demonstration with speeches, singing, leafleting with WRL pie chart, penny poll, signs and banners was joined by several Chicago-area peace organizations and a north side Unitarian/Univesalist group. We await photos!
Click on the picture at left to see the nice photos in the local paper of the protest. War tax resister Daniel Woodham (right end of banner) joined the Alamance Peace Action organizers and others to promote the message, “Bring the War Dollars Home, Fund our Communities.” They found the reception generally positive.
“Taxes for Need Not War and Greed” was the theme for the Delaware County Peace Center tax day protest, that was featured in the local paper, the Delaware County Times on April 16. The newspaper also announced the action on April 14. The Delaware County Peace Center has links on theirwebsite to the article and the flyer or click on the photo to go directly to the article (kind of a large PDF file and slow to open). Featured on the hand-out flyer is the great Martin Luther King Jr. quote, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
People in several locations in Maine via ROSC’s Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center distributed about 750-1,000 flyers asking “Your Tax Money: Schools or Tanks; Health Care or Bombs” on one side and “Where Your Income Tax Money Is Really Going This Year” on the other side.