National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

More than a Paycheck:News from the War Tax Resistance Movement
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March 2002. HEADLINES IN THIS ISSUE:

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What's Your Interest

NWTRCC has in its office a slim booklet called Interest for Radicals: A Collection of Polemics, put together by Ed Agro and Aaron Falbel, two wtrs from New England. Interest is, well, an interesting subject. Why should it be important to war tax resisters?

By pooling together the money we refuse to pay to the war machine, war tax resisters have the opportunity to build a different economy. In fact, the actual building of of alternative economies and alternative economic institutions is the ìother halfî of war tax refusal.

Many alternative funds use the instrument of interest towards a greater good. Some alternative funds refuse to take interest. Why? Read below to find out more.

Whichever way we come down on the topic of interest, the editors of the booklet urge war tax resisters to engage in the dialogue and to create more people-centered economies.

There are seven short articles in the booket. We are reprinting three of them. The first, as it appears first in the booklet, is by Juanita Nelson. The second is by Bob Irwin, and the third is a rejoinder by Juanita. If you would like a copy of the complete booklet, contact the NWTRCC office.

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On Interest

By Juanita Nelson

I consider war tax refusal an essential step in the direction of a saner society,when a society is squandering its substance on war waging and preparation. But if I stop at that point I havenít got the point. Another imperative for me is to look at economics, beyond the use and abuse of federal tax funds, and to take whatever faltering steps I can in the light of insights as I gain them.

An insight I gained many years ago concerns interest, or the ability of money to multiply, to grow, to reproduce itself. I examined the concept inside out, upside down, top to bottom, and concluded that money has no reproductive powers. A hundred pennies sealed in a jar for however many years remains a hundred pennies. It makes no difference if the jar rests on your desk or in the vault of a bank or is invested in the Sleight-of-Hand Corporation. (Experiment with the jar of pennies on your desk.)

Interest is a construct invented so that, as John Ruskin observes in Unto This Last, some can take advantage of other's distress. If I lend you a hundred dollars that I have no need of at the moment, or that I obviously can manage without, why would I demand a hundred and ten from you within a year instead of merely the original hundred? I would have done nothing to deserve the ten dollars. It would result from work you had performed and therefore, according to my calculations, I would be extracting ten dollars worth of your labor.

For a paragraph, I'd prefer to remove the discussion from the distraction of dollars or money, only a representation of the real thing. What I'm really dealing with is the product of labor applied to natural resources, the only combination I am aware of which yields wealth. (No matter how many dollar bills, of whatever denomination, are thrown to the ground, they cannot dig a hole, as one person can.) So I, having a surplus, let you use ten bushels of corn to supplement your poor crop, a supplement without which you must go hungry much of the winter. But I stipulate that the next year you must return to me not the ten bushels you had from me, but eleven. If we assume that it takes equal amounts of time to grow a bushel of corn, I would be usurping a bushel of corn's worth of your time, your labor. With what justification?

So, the first thing to ask about interest is, what is it? And the answer appears to be: appropriation of anotherís labor - though the ultimate victims of that appropriation may be many times removed from our immediate view - maybe just a polite way of saying robbery. If this sounds harsh, listen to Cicero in De Officius, 44 B.C.E.: When Cato was asked what was most profitable in the way of property, he replied, "good pasture." And when the man who asked the question said, "And what about lending at interest?" Cato answered, "What about manslaughter?" I was pleased also to be backed up by economist Maynard Keynes: "At the base of todayís acquisitive society is legalized usury, or lending money at interest."

Pioneer Valley War Tax Resisters reluctantly keeps a small bank account to enable check processing. Some years ago we agreed that taking interest on the piddling sum was contrary to all we believed in. We approached the bank to ask that we not be credited with interest. We went from a surprised receptionist to a nonplussed teller to an adamant president, who told us their charter required them to give us the interest. It was only after I recounted an experience in Philadelphia where I had been allowed to forego the unwanted sum that the president decided he could honor our request. Not only that, he consented to what weíd mentioned only offhandedly because we thought it would be too much - we could return the interest we had previously collected! Which we did. We had won permission not to take money we didnít want.

It might be instructive to enumerate all the reasons given as rationale for interest, why some consider it even a right and reasonable thing. But that can wait for another issue, perhaps another author.

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Counseling Notes:

Telephone Problems

NWTRCC has continued to get calls from people having trouble with their phone companies. Some people have been either threatened to be cut off, or have had their service cut off for refusal to pay the federal excise tax. If you are having these problems, please call the NWTRCC office, because we want to keep track of the extent of the situation.

Telephone Disconnection -- Is it Legal?
written by attorney Vicki Metcalf in 1991 The Lottinville decision referred to below has, thus far, been an anomaly.

In the 1971 and 1972 decisions in the Martha Tranquilli case, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) held that AT&T could not legally disconnect telephone service for refusal to pay telephone taxes. (footnote 1) These decisions were based on the following reasoning: 1) Under AT&T's tariff, the company could only disconnect service for nonpayment of a "sum due the telephone company." 2) IRS procedural regulations do not require a company to pay over taxes that have been refused by a customer; it is only required to report the customer to the IRS. (footnote 2) Therefore, the tax is a sum due to the IRS, not the phone company. 3) To permit the company to enforce collection of the tax through a service disconnection would be to deprive taxpayers of their protest and appeal rights before the IRS. These decisions were entered in a formal case before the FCC.

Since then, telephone tax resisters have relied upon the Tranquilli case to prevent disconnection of their telephone service. However, a 1990 informal decision of the FCC raises questions about the legality of service disconnections by phone companies other than AT&T. Wayne Lottinville of Eugene, Oregon filed an informal complaint with the FCC when Call US disconnected his phone service. Call US argued that its billing system does not distinguish between taxes and telephone service, and that it disconnected Lottinville's service because he failed to pay his bills in full, not because he refused to pay the tax. In its response to the informal complaint, the FCC allowed the disconnection, saying that it was "not unreasonable" and noting that Call US is a "nondominant carrier" (that is, a carrier that does not have the market power to control prices). (footnote 3) The Tranquilli case was distinguished on the ground that it was based on AT&T's tariff, which doesn't apply to Call US. Because Lottinville's complaint was informal, the decision does not have the same precedential value as Tranquilli.

All phone companies besides AT&T are considered nondominant carriers. All companies have tariffs, but only AT&T's is on file with the FCC. The others are filed with state public utility commissions and it is state law and regulation which determines the circumstances under which these companies may disconnect service.

One aspect of the Lottinville decision was incorrect. The decision asserts that IRS regulations have changed since 1972 to require phone companies to collect telephone taxes. This is not true - the companies have always been required to collect the tax. What they are not required (or authorized) to do under the tax law is enforce collection of the tax. The IRS statute and rules regarding this are the same ones that were in effect when Tranquilli was decided. And, as the FCC pointed out in the Tranquilli decision, enforced collection through service disconnection would deny people their protest and appeal rights under the IRS regulation.

What to do
If your telephone company threatens to disconnect your service, refer them to the IRS procedural rules and the Tranquilli decision. (We have a copy of the rules at the office.) Point out that the IRS rules only require them to report you to the IRS. Point out that the FCC held in Tranquilli that the IRS rules do not give a phone company any right or authority to enforce collection of the tax by shutting off service. Point out that the FCC has said that a phone company cannot deny people their IRS appeal rights by disconnecting service. Check with your state public utility commission to see what your company's tariff and your state's regulations say about disconnection of service.

If your company does shut off your service, you may be able to appeal to your state public utility commission, as well as to the FCC. Because of the uncertainty of the law at this point, it would be wise to seek assistance from a national war tax resistance organization, or a counselor or lawyer before filing an appeal.

______________
Footnotes:

  1. 30 F.C.C. 2d 836 (1971); 38 F.C.C. 2d 192 (1972)
  2. 26 Code of Federal Regulations Section 601.403(c)(2).
  3. F.C.C., 63203, IC-89-05837, Feb. 26, 1990.

FCC address and telephone number:
Federal Communications Commission,Consumer Information Bureau, Consumer Complaints, 455 - 12th St. SW, Washington, D.C., 20554.
Phone: 1/888/CALL-FCC.
Web address: www.fcc.gov/cib/consumerfacts/howtofile.html.

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MANY THANKS

Many thanks to the following groups that have given since our last newsletter. Your support makes a difference!

War Resisters League

New England War Resisters League

Iowa Peace Network

Washington (DC) Area War Tax Resistance

Oregon Community for War Tax Resistance

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Network List Updates

These are changes in the network list that gets sent out each fall.

National Groups -- For the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund, change the area code to 260.

Great Lakes Region -- In Indiana, change the area code for Peter Smith from 219 to 574.

North Central & Southwest Regions -- In Idaho, change the email for Blue to: the1redqueen@yahoo.com.

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  • Interest and Economic Transformation

    by Bob Irwin

    I am convinced that we need a better economic system in order to move from the war era to global peace; but I disagree with the idea that interest is an evil to be eliminated.

    Amid the impassioned attitudes and invoking of authorities, a simple reality has been obscured. The article that initiated this discussion advocates that we refuse interest money earned by any bank deposits we may have, and insist instead that the banks keep it! Money that could be given to aid the poor at home and abroad, or to fund efforts to end oppression and war, or even just to make our own lives easier - this, we are told, should instead be donated to bankers!

    It would take a Mark Twain to comment adequately on the irony of such a position being advocated by any dedicated radical. Do any of us really believe the average banker is our best ally in the struggle for peace and freedom? It would be better, I think, to take our interest dollars and burn them on the sidewalk in front of the bank than to leave them to the bankers - and better still if some poor person snatched the money from our hands before it turned to ashes.

    Whether Aristotle (who considered women inferior and favored slavery) or Gandhi or any other famous name approved interest or not is no excuse for not thinking the matter through for ourselves. (Anybody remember the slogan "Question Authority"?)

    Let me briefly offer another view of the nature of interest, and then sketch the role interest plays in three important efforts to transform economic life.

    How "barren metal" can "breed" is no more mysterious than how an empty room can earn money. Interest is not robbery; it is rental income on money. It is no more (nor less) ethically dubious than subletting a room in one^Òs house or apartment. (Any ^Óvoluntary^Ô exchange between people with unequal bargaining power can be unfair, but this point applies to all transactions, not just to mony-lending.)

    Like other rent, interest is related to time. So is value. A dollar can be worth more to me now (when I need to finance attending school) than $1.20 will be to me later (when I can pay the dollar back - plus interest - out of my education-enhanced higher earning capacity.) Most money borrowed at interest is sought because doing so is similarly advantageous to the borrower; not (as Juanita maintains) primarily out of ^Óhave-not^Ô desperation. Paying interest is not giving something for nothing; it^Òs paying for the advantage - the value - of having money sooner rather than later.

    I believe we should earn as much interest as we can - within the ethical bounds of socially responsible investment - and use the money for good purposes. Rather than comment further on all the arguments, parables, and moral pronouncements that have been offered, I want to show the positive role interest is playing in efforts to create a more just socio-economic order.

    In the Mondragon region of Spain in 1955, a radical priest devised a financial structure for cooperatives that overcomes certain defects of coops throughout the preceding 150 years. ...The Mondragon coops have a complex system of internal accounts and interest payments that provides ways workers can gradually buy in and later get their expanding share out. The Mondragon system, starting with one five person coop in 1955, now employs 21,000 persons in secure and well paid jobs in 170 plus coops, each with superior working conditions and a lower ratio of highest to lowest salaries than in capitalist firms.

    Crucial to the Mondragon complex is a people's bank which pays interest on workers' savings, loans money (at interest) to start up new coops, and uses its surplus for aiding troubled firms, providing social welfare, and expanding worker controlled employment. At last word the Mondragon complex had begun to take over capitalist firms and convert them to worker management. (I hope they start operating in the U.S. soon!) But if blocked by a moral stance against interest, this new economic system could never have developed.

    The Mondragon model is relevant to industrial life everywhere. Equally important for the poorest of people in any country is the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, at the heart of which is money lending and repayment with interest. Recognizing the resourcefulness and hard work it took for poor Bangladeshis to survive, a visionary speculated that if they could get a small loan (for a beehive, a goat, or some chickens) they could run a little business and begin to upgrade their conditions (fix the roof, get safer drinking water.) Based on five person support groups which help borrowers (mostly women) solve problems, keep their husbands from grabbing the income, and stay on track with their loan repayments, the Grameen Bank has since 1976 helped over one million persons lift themselves above the most abject poverty. In the process it has also shifted power from men toward women and reduced the power of traditional exploitative high interest local money-lenders.

    The spectacular success of this system of "micro loans" and support groups - a synergic combination of individual initiative and group solidarity combining the best ideals of capitalism and socialism - has caused it to spread to at least eight countries. In the U.S. it has recently begun aiding poor people in Arkansas, Chicago, South Dakota, and Maine.

    I regard Mondragon and the Grameen Bank as the world's most important economic alternatives - the dynamic beginnings of a post capitalist economic system. I see no way they could function without interest,and I hope the lessons and significance of these transformation projects will be weighed against judgments about interest handed down from the past.

    A much smaller and (so far) less important undertaking, but one which highlights the issue of interest with startling directness, is the "Financial Independence" program of the New Road Map Foundation. These people offer a plan for "Transforming Your Relationships with Money," through which you learn to increase your savings rate and lower your living expenses until you can live entirely off interest income!

    They ask, wouldn't you like to have the economic freedom to work full-time (if you so choose) for peace and justice causes? This may sound like an altruistic cover for a goal really designed for lazy greed-heads, but its proponents report that those seeking financial independence for altruistic reasons have a higher success rate in achieving financial independence than those doing it for themselves.

    This small movement of people are striving to overcome the common addiction to a consumerist lifestyle and the sense that we are condemned to do compulsory work for money rather than do freely chosen work expressing our values. I don't totally agree with their position. But their arguments seem to me at least as sound as those of interest's opponents, and I challenge anyone seriously interested in the interest debate to examine their materials.

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    Peace Tax Fund Bill

    Steve Olshewsky, a wtr from Texas, has been traveling around the country to speak about the Peace Tax Fund Bill (HR 1186.) He has been working with Quaker meetings, and would be happy to work with anyone who wants to promote HR 1186 in their place of worship.

    And hereís a report from NWTRCC activist Andy McKenna of Austin:

    "At the Nader super rally January 26 in Austin, Texas with about 3,000 people, and a table right by the door, we got a lot of takers of info and as many petition signatures for the Peace Tax Fund at one time as we did in several other events combined. The petitions practically signed themselves with such a sympathetic audience and minimal explanation, if that. Not bad for really just about two hours work.

    "People are hungry for something to do for peace. Petitions are simple and painless. Letters, for those outside our targeted district, are great too, especially if you offer to mail them. Having a PTF display definitely pulls people in. Of course, we hand out NWTRCC and NCPTF brochures and info.

    "I believe that the Peace Tax Fund is a great organizing tool for peace taxpayers/war tax resisters Try it, you'll like it!"

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    War Tax Resistance Ideas & Actions  One Million Strong

    The One Million Taxpayers for Peace has a new, dynamic website. The address is www.onemilliontaxpayersforpeace.org.

    The organizer, Sarah Sunstein, is hoping to get a million people who are sickened by US policies, are ready to take a stand, and are willing to withhold $10.40 from taxes owed. The site walks new people through several possibilities, including withholding $10.40 from their tax payment, or not, and some analysis of those choices. Check it out! Sarah is working with Sonoma County Taxes for Peace, a NWTRCC affiliate.

    If you know of kindred sites that could list it as a link, please contact Sarah at 1mt@monitor.net, or 707/823-9203. She is also looking for groups (and famous people) to endorse the idea.

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  • Juanita's Rejoinder (excerpted)

    It seems to me that Bob did not deal with my main query, which was "Where does interest come from?" I conclude that it comes from the labor of those who pay the interest. The assumption that it does some good is another matter. There are arguably some good results from war, but I'd rather do without war!

    ...As for the quixotic notion of refusing bank interest, which seems to set teeth on edge, my decision is based on the desire to break a cycle. If interest is not a good thing (as I believe), then why should I take it? Is it any more pristine in my hands than in the bank's? As for the poor person I'm shortchanging, I'll seek another way of helping her or him, rather than perpetuate one of the very instruments that created the poverty in the first place. Maybe we'll go together and picket to protest the bank^Òs taking and giving interest, while we share whatever food I have. (I'm not against burning money, by the way, I just don't see the point of it, except as a demonstration.)

    ...All of God's dangers ain't interest. I have no economic blueprint, but I sure do have ideas about a lot of aspects. I think of interest as a lead-in to the whole vexing problem of economics. What I'd like to do sometime is to be able to talk face to face, so that we might get beyond polemics and into fruitful searching.

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    NWTRCC Business

    NWTRCC in the News

    NWTRCC continues to make a small splash in the big pond of media.

    In December, Utah Phillips, a wtr and folk singer, did a radio show on the peace movement. He was making suggestions for new ways to get the word out. Unsolicited from us, his first suggestion was war tax resistance. He gave the NWTRCC phone number on the air, and also went into depth about telephone tax resistance. As a result, NWTRCC got a spate of calls from California, where the show aired. Thanks, Utah!

    We were contacted by a small magazine out of New York City called Satya which focuses on animal advocacy, environmentalism, vegetarianism and social justice. They printed an article on war tax resistance in their February issue.

    An article on war tax resistance appeared in the initial issue of The Uproar, a newspaper in Ithaca, NY, that comes out of the peace and justice network there.

    And we have an article in Whatís Up, a magazine in Boston dedicated to the arts which is distributed by the homeless. Every time the word gets out, a seed is planted.

    Spring Meeting Set for Portland

    Fair weatheror foul, the Oregon Community for War Tax Resistance (OCWTR) will host NWTRCC's spring Coordinating Committee meeting, May 3-5, 2002. The theme for the weekend is: If not war, what are we for: proactive pursuit of peace. Friday evening will start with introductions and stories. On Saturday, there will be a panel with wtr theory and practice: a community of activists, academics and students. There will also be a training for wtr counselors, and discussion groups. NWTRCC will hold its business meeting on Sunday morning. Six vegetarian meals will be provided over the weekend, and lodging will also be provided. People are welcome for all or part of the weekend. There is no fee for the weekend, but a hat will be passed to cover costs. Registration was due by April 10.

    For more information, or for a registration form, contact the NWTRCC office.

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    Resources

    Bulletin Insert on War Tax Resistance

    It is tax season again. Coming in the midst of so much terror and war, we may worry about how governments will use our tax dollars. Will our dollars feed the hungry, or feed the technology of war and killing?

    Mennonite Central Committee's Web site currently features a bulletin insert as a resource for people interested in sharing this issue with their congregations. The downloadable insert features suggestions for action as well as quotes from Peter Dyck and others who have thought about this issue a great deal.

    The insert is designed for use anytime between now and April 15. Please share this information with others who might find it useful. Here is the address: http://www.mcc.org/us/peaceandjustice/taxes.html.

    For more information, contact Larry Guengerich, Media and Education Coordinator, Mennonite Central Committee Phone: (717) 859-1151 ext. 367 Email: lrg@mcc.org

    Radio

    Our radio ads are ready! Pete Meyers and Mary Loehr, with the help of a local media activist, have made four public service announcements for NWTRCC. They vary in length from 10 to 22 seconds, and are all together on one cd. A couple of them are straightforward, a couple are humorous. Contact the office if you would like a cd. Think about submitting one to your local radio station. Anyone want to volunteer to get them to all the Pacifica stations?

    Video

    NWTRCC has a video available called ìPaying for Peace: War Tax Resistance in the United States.î It is 29 minutes long and was made by wtr Carol Coney. If you would like to use one for an introductory evening on war tax resistance, contact the office.

    Bumper Stickers

    NWTRCC also has bumper stickers. They are dark blue on white and say: ìIf you want peace, stop paying for war! National War Tax Resistance 1.800.269.7464.î They are $1.00 each. Contact the office if you would like one. Or several.

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    Our Life is More Than Our Work

    By Joe DeRaymond

    "...we ain't paid no whisky tax, since 1792."
    from Copper Kettle (The Pale Moonlight), by Bob Dylan

    My war tax resistance began in 1973, when I was 23, in the last days of the United States military presence in Southeast Asia. I had been denied the opportunity to resist the draft because my draft number was just out of the range of being called for duty. Tax resistance seemed like a reasonable method of resisting the war machine of my country. When I worked for a few months at Bethlehem Steel, I claimed eight exemptions on my W-2. Later I worked as an independent contractor and did not file tax returns. I contributed my projected tax payments to a local War Tax Life Fund. As each year passed, I thought that any minute the minions of the IRS would be swarming around me, demanding my returns, my money. I took my "resistance" very seriously.

    While my initial reason for tax resistance lies with the United States invasion of Southeast Asia, the ensuing years have given me no reason to cooperate with this government. My adult life has been lived in a culture of continuous war. Chile fell on September 11, 1973, accompanied by the murder of tens of thousands at the hands of men like Henry Kissinger. United States interventions in Latin America have been criminal and have subjugated the entire population of this region to untold suffering. I traveled to Nicaragua in 1983 and 1985 and worked in solidarity with the Sandinista revolution, while it was under attack by the United States created contra army. In 1986, I participated in the Pledge of Resistance action which, in the Rotunda of the Capitol, challenged the illegal funding of this contra army, even after a judgment by the World Court. I was found guilty, with 17 other protesters, of criminal counts in federal court for this "crime". United States policy has been similarly brutal in the Middle East, Indonesia, and Iraq. I feel these past and present horrors, and the fascist framework of the "War Against Terror" create a situation in which citizens have a responsibility to resist, under principles well recognized under international law.

    The government seizes the taxes of the working people of this country by withholding from wages, because otherwise it would not receive them. The working people, the poor, know that our government is a sham today, that we do not have a voice, that money rules politics on every level from the local to the national. Tax resistance is a natural for us. We are a nation fashioned out of tax rebellions; whisky taxes, stamp taxes, taxes on tea: "No taxation without representation!" Certainly, this could be our cry today.

    As for my personal experience with tax resistance, I worked as an independent contractor till 1990, and paid no federal income taxes. I ignored 1099's and heard nothing from the IRS. I became a nurse in 1990, and have since allowed normal withholding, but limit my work to part-time and thereby minimize my contribution. There are contradictions in tax resistance, for I believe in the ultimate ability of people to organize themselves and create government mechanisms for the benefit of all. I do not believe that the amount of taxes any person withholds makes any difference in the ability of our economy to function. It is the act of resistance which is important, in my opinion. IRS has made one attempt to garnish wages, and at that time I changed employers and closed my checking account. There have been no further attempts to garnish wages or contact me. I receive a yearly notice of a considerable debt owed for 1992, a year in which a substantial 1099 was filed.

    I have never filed a federal income tax return, yet I have no illusions that my tax resistance is the sum total of my activism. I pay sales taxes, gasoline taxes, state and federal withholding taxes, local taxes. I believe resistance must be cultural, visceral, with our presence in the seats of power; in Washington, DC protesting the IMF/World Bank; in Fort Benning, Georgia; in the offices of our Congressional representatives; at the gates of Lockheed Martin; in the dusty nations of Latin America in solidarity with the people living on the margins of the global economy; in the streets with leaflets and information suppressed by corporate media. For we live within this culture and we support its oppressive machinations by our very lives. Tax resistance, for me, presents an insurrectionist paradigm, incisive, nonviolent, and clear - we won't pay for this madness. It sends a message to the people: there is hope for change, join us and reclaim our nation.

    I have continued to work in solidarity efforts with people and groups in Central America. I was in Nicaragua and El Salvador in February and felt the sadness and desperation of people who are being crushed by a system, the same system which we try to resist here. I have attended the School of the Americas Watch demonstrations and crossed the line for the last four years. I have run as an Independent and Green Party candidate for County Council. I have published independently and believe in the power of such publications as More Than a Paycheck. I participate as possible with the local peace and justice group, LEPOCO. In short, I do what I can for our brothers and sisters on the other end of the global economy. Having said that, I like Charlie King's phrase: "My life is more than my work, and my work is more than my job."

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    Local Group Reports

    Cleveland

    The Cleveland, Ohio Catholic Worker has convened a group that is calling itself the Cleveland Nonviolent Network (CNVN). The group started in September and held a big teach-in in October. They vigil every Friday, have a listserve, and have been writing articles and letters to the editor to get into the local media. They held an evening presentation on war tax resistance in November.

    St. Louis

    The St. Louis Covenant Community of War Tax Resisters held a workshop on Saturday, February 16 on "Introduction to War Tax Resistance." Bill Ramsey, Mira Tanna, and Dave Zarembka discussed the history of war tax resistance, the different levels of resistance and their possible consequences, philosophies behind not paying war taxes, and the larger national and international wtr movement. The workshop inspired many of the attenders. Two resolved there to begin resisting federal income taxes, others said that they would take more time to consider what steps to take. All of the attenders felt they were ready to begin resisting the telephone tax!

    Milwaukee

    On February 7th, four Milwaukee War Tax Resisters had their charges dropped for their 2001 tax day civil disobedience action in which they sang, leafleted and held signs encouraging tax resistance inside Milwaukee's federal building. Finally, a little bit of justice! This was their fourth court appearance for the tax day action. The first time they showed up for court, the judge said he could not try the case because he receives their newsletter and agrees with them. The other two times were rescheduled due to faults of the court system's ability to send out letters to all the witnesses of their court date.

    A few days after the 7th, George W. Bush himself came to town and about 500 people showed up to protest his war making, one of the largest Milwaukee anti-war protests in years!

    Montana

    NWTRCC ads provided new information for many people at the Montana Gathering of Friends in February. The Peace Seekers will be adding wtr to their message with 1,000 cranes being given to legislators and the governor regarding the proposed Peace Department.

    Ithaca, NY

    Because the NWTRCC Coordinator lives in Ithaca, and Pete Meyers, a former NWTRCC Ad Comm member lives there also, we are always thinking of ways to introduce wtr into local activism and events. Pete is a member of an anti-globalization group, which has a listserve and a newspaper. He regularly mentions wtr in both those media. A new peace and justice group came into being after September 11; it also has a newspaper. We placed an article and an ad about wtr in there, and also mention it on the listserve. In early September, the local greens had an event bringing together all the progressive groups in town; NWTRCC had a table there. We try to always think of putting out the wtr word in any venue we go to. And it is paying off. NWTRCC has had requests from 32 Ithacans in the past year about war tax resistance!

    Please always think of NWTRCC when you do any tax event. Itís important and inspiring to other groups around the country to know what youíre doing. We are a movement; we are ripples in a pond! And try to remember to take pictures!

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    =========================
    National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

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    Ithaca, NY 14851
    (800) 269-7464
    E-mail: nwtrcc@nwtrcc.org

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