National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

More than a Paycheck:News from the War Tax Resistance Movement

National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

August 2004 Contents

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Editor: Ruth Benn
Layout: Ajay Advani/Susan Quinlan

More Than a Paycheck is the bimonthly publication of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, a clearinghouse and resource center for the conscientious war tax resistance movement in the United States. NWTRCC is a coalition of local, regional, and national affiliate groups working on war tax related issues.

NWTRCC Mission Statement: NWTRCC sees poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, economic exploitation, environmental destruction, and militarization of law enforcement as integrally linked with the militarism which we abhor. Through the redirection of our tax dollars, NWTRCC members contribute directly to the struggle for peace and justice for all.

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Another World is Possible

By Daniel Woodham

The approximately 75 peaceworkers who assembled in Brussels, Belgium, from 13 countries created something incredible: An inspiring exchange of international activism with bold new steps taken in collaboration for work against war. Such was the 10th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns (WTR/PTCs) held July 8-11. It was jointly organized by the Flemish Peace Tax Campaign (VRAK-Aktie Vredesbelasting) and the French speaking Contribuables Pour la Paix.

The tone of the conference was set by the keynote speaker, Belgian journalist John Van Daele, who spoke on: "The Anti-Globalist Movement-Another World is Possible-and the Peace Movement." Conference attendees followed on this tone throughout the weekend, as they sought to discover ways to increase international collaboration more than ever before.

The panel discussion on "Focus, Variety and Change: the Future of WTR/PTCs" was a good overview of how things are going for these two movements. Marian Franz (USA) spoke of how one elected representative she spoke with about the U.S. peace tax fund bill shortly after 9/11/01 said at first: "Keep still for awhile!" After she explained her position the representative said, "Keep talking!" Pedro Otaduy from Spain revealed how similar the Spanish and U.S. WTR movements are though there are far fewer involved with WTR in Spain. Bart Horeman, Netherlands, said that now the government is shifting from getting its fiscal needs met from income tax to Value Added Taxes (VATs) on goods. In this way any consumer helps to pay for the military (as well as other government expenses). Representing NWTRCC, I spoke of how WTR is changing since 9/ 11, such as with the new lower-risk initiatives (such as "Hang up on War"). I attempted to describe the culture of fear existing presently in the U.S. under the Patriot Act to those who don't have experience with U.S. airport lines or Department of Homeland Security "Orange Alerts."

Workshops ranged from follow-up talks on the panel and keynote address to formulating strategies and tactics for WTR/PTCs, training in lobbying techniques, examining alternative forms of security to the repressive system of military strong-arming, cultivating a culture of peace and nonviolence through education, and many others.

Global inequalities due to North- South differences and neoliberal trade agreements were reemphasized in a panel discussion by attendees from the South: Ghana, India, and Colombia. All three countries have active work going on in the field of nonviolence and conscientious opposition to war. Colombia's situation was especially "close to home," as detailed effects of the U.S. $3.4 billion "Plan Colombia" were given. In fact, a working group from the conference was formed to assist attendee Ricardo Esquivia in planning a Colombian WTR/PTC conference in the near future. Three organizers from countries of the North will attend the conference in Colombia to assist and also report back to the 2006 International WTR/PTC conference.

A fun cultural evening featured a skit with a conscientious objector trying to cross a checkerboard without getting blocked by four judges (organized by the Germans); a "Can-Can" line of people singing "I can't pay for war no more" (organized by the Americans); and two personal stories of interactions between American soldiers and their German prisoners during WWII where war was found to be the opponent, not the people.

The conference approved supporting an international project proposed by Conscience Canada (CC). The proposal is that various regional or national movements of conscientious objection to military taxation would copy CC's crosscountry dialogue project, which is in progress. A part-time international coordinator would help facilitate the formation and accumulation of resource materials for this project and receive a modest fee (coordinator and pay to be determined shortly). The question is: will anyone in the U.S. work to initiate such a project here? Additional information on this may appear in a future issue of MTAP or write Dominique Boisvert (Conscience Canada): domfeldi@internet.uqam.ca.

Though the Brussels conference ended without a host country for the next conference in 2006, it was unanimously agreed that there needs to be another one in two years. An interim committee was established to facilitate communication between national groups until the next conference site is chosen. Klaus Ehrler from Germany recommends that we focus some part of the next conference on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Frank Kellogg, who helped establish the Kellogg Pact of 1928. This treaty abolished war as a legal instrument of politics on an international level and was signed by 63 governments and states until 1930!

Some attendees went to eastern Belgium after the conference for a guided tour of "Flanders Fields," the famous battlefields of World War I.

Belgium is also the global seat of Conscience and Peace Tax International (CPTI) whose goal is to achieve recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military taxation and the redirection of military spending to peaceful, nonmilitary purposes. CPTI is trying to get CO legislation passed in the European Community and at the UN through the Commission on Human Rights.

Be sure to look at the website of this important international collaborative organization, www.cpti.ws, where you will also find inspiring "global conversations" in the full conference report.

Daniel Woodham has been active with the Oregon Community for War Tax Resistance (Portland). He represented NWTRCC at the international conference.

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Counseling Notes:

IRS Activity, Letters, and Liens

The IRS computers seem to be busy sending out letters regarding underpayments of 2003 taxes-at least for those resisters who file-and the letters seem to be arriving earlier this year. It is still not clear if there is more actual collection nationally, although Texas activists report a couple recent bank account seizures along with letters to a nonfiler who had not heard from the IRS in many years. Another nonfiler in California had his salary levied for an amount from ten years ago, and the IRS can fairly quickly institute the 15% levy on social security payments to resisters, although whether this happens to everyone with an open balance who begins to collect social security is not certain.

Please do send your experiences of collection (or lack thereof) to the NWTRCC office or use the wtr listserve (see www.nwtrcc.org to sign up) to help us get a better sense of trends.

A number of calls have come to the NWTRCC office regarding the filing of a Federal Tax Lien. If you have not paid the IRS after receiving their demanding letters, the IRS may file a lien, ostensibly "to lay claim on property the resister may have or acquire. But in reality, the purpose of the notice to embarrass the resister-by making the lien public-and adversely affect your business transactions or other financial interests. For example, they hope it will hurt your credit rating. So it becomes a device to harass you into paying." (War Tax Resistance, p. 52) No money or property is taken with a lien; the IRS may or may not follow it with a levy on assets, such as a bank account or salary.

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MANY THANKS

NWTRCC appreciates recent contributions from:

Ithaca War Tax Resistance
Austin Conscientious Objectors to Military Taxation
New York City WTR/PLF
War Resisters League

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Network List Updates

Affiliates, counselors, local contacts, alternative funds -- everyone on out network list -- will be receiving a postcard to confirm the information on our contact lists. Be sure to send it back by the deadline to help us keep our records as accurate as possible.

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Legislative News

NYC Resolution Introduced

An unprecedented Taxes for Peace campaign has been launched in New York City, where the City Council is now considering Resolution 367. It calls upon Congress to enact, and the President to sign, HR 2037, known as the "Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act." The New York City resolution was introduced by Councilmember Bill Perkins on May 19 and initially co-sponsored by Councilmembers Miguel Martinez, Margarita Lopez, and Charles Barron. It is the first such resolution to be proposed in the United States.

The New York City Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund is part of a national and international campaign to affirm the rights of taxpayers who are conscientiously opposed to participation in war. Resolution 367 is a particularly significant step in this campaign, because it not only calls upon the Congress and the President of the United States to enact HR 2037, it also calls upon New York's United States Representatives and Senators to monitor and report on military expenditure funded by the taxes of residents of New York City.

Councilmember Perkins says: "There are many persons who, for religious, moral, ethical or philosophical reasons do not believe that war advances the causes of a just society. They feel that the destructive force of war overwhelms whatever good may be sought by waging war." Perkins also points out that, "besides giving citizens the right to meet their tax obligations without violating their consciences, the Peace Tax Act, by requiring that there be an annual report to Congress on the amount of taxes transferred to the Fund, will give governments at all levels, and the public, some idea about the depth of Americans' opposition to war and to the militarization that devours resources that could be used to meet human needs."

Corona Machemer of the New York City Campaign, who is a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), describes HR 2037 and Resolution 367 as vital democratic tools. "Most Americans are unaware of how much of their tax dollar goes to fund the production of weapons and the killing and destruction of war. While HR 2037 is of particular significance to me, as a member of one of the historic peace churches, all Americans who believe in freedom of conscience or who suffer from the lack of resources that should go to build our society-and that is most of us-should support the Peace Tax Fund."

For further information contact: Neena Das, New York City Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, (212) 866-3244, www.peacetaxfund.org/nyc, peacetax@hotmail.com, or Tim Godshall, National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, 1-888-732-2382, www.peacetaxfund.org, timgodshall@peacetaxfund.org.

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NWTRCC Business

Fall Meetings at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania

Mark your calendar and begin making plans to attend the fall Coordinating Committee meetings, November 5-7, hosted by the Conscience, Militarism and War Tax Concerns Working Group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

The meetings will be held at Swarthmore College, one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country and rooted in the ideals of its Quaker founders: social action, pacifism, and respect for the "inner light" of each person. Professors and administrators encourage the 1,400 students to follow their own passions. The Swarthmore College Library houses the Peace Collection, where NWTRCC's papers are archived along with those of many other peace organizations and individual activists. We hope to find time for a tour of the Peace Collection during the weekend.

The beautiful campus is located 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, a 30 minute drive from Philadelphia and about two hours from New York and Washington, DC. The regional rail of SEPTA stops in Swarthmore. The Philadelphia airport is served by lower-priced Southwest airlines, or check fares to the Baltimore-Washington airport (BWI) and connect to the bus or train to Swarthmore.

Among other program ideas, we hope to hear from students about their antiwar/peace activities and their perspectives on war tax resistance.

Registration materials are available on the NWTRCC website, and a regional mailing will go out too. Please call the NWTRCC office if you need a brochure or want more information.

New Campaign!
Activism is Patriotism

"No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion and all around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots." -Barbara Ehrenreich

NWTRCC is proud to be asked to be part of a new campaign begun by Circle of Life, called Activism is Patriotism. The campaign's goal is to empower everyday Americans to make a difference using their MINDS, MONEY, VOICES, and VOTES in this critical election year. NWTRCC is listed in the MONEY section on the Activism is Patriotism website.

Circle of Life was founded by Julia Butterfly Hill in 1999. The campaign was launched with a press release dated July 4, 2004, which described the campaign this way:

"In the United States, most of our basic rights today were secured by people who were brave enough to take a stand for justice and freedom. It is time to reclaim the powerful legacy of activism that true patriots like Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez have given us. From women's suffrage, to civil rights, to today's movement for peace and justice, concerned Americans have shown that activism is not only patriotic-it's essential to making our country and the world a better place.

"Through a major advertising blitz in Rolling Stone, Time, and Organic Style, and ongoing publicity and events through the fall, the campaign will reach well over 20 million people, encouraging them to reclaim America's proud legacy of civic activism by getting more deeply involved in our democracy.

"All too often, Americans feel cynical or apathetic about speaking up and taking action-whether that action is voting, organizing, writing letters, or volunteering with a local cause. But even the smallest actions have the power to change the world. Each of us holds that power within us.

"The Activism is Patriotism website (www.activismispatriotism.org) offers a rich cross-section of vital tools and resources to feed your MIND, leverage your MONEY, strengthen your VOICE, and exercise your VOTE. Our country is counting on you to leave a lasting legacy of peace, justice, and freedom."

NWTRCC's role is to help activate those who find us through this campaign, and we hope that local groups will receive an influx of new interest in the coming months. Please look at the website and tell others about the campaign.

Coming to NYC for the RNC?

If you are coming to New York City to protest during the Republican National Convention, you are invited to stop by the War Resisters League clearinghouse/open house on Saturday, August 28 from 11-6 pm, or Sunday, August 29 from 9- Noon, or call the NWTRCC office for other times. War tax activists are joining with NYC WRL members to staff the open house, join the United for Peace and Justice march and rally on August 29, and plan an action for August 31. WTR counselors will be available at the open house, or call in advance for more information or to let us know you are coming: 800- 269-7464 or nwtrcc@nwtrcc.org.

Out and About

NWTRCC literature is getting around at various conferences during the spring and summer. Peter Smith covered the Grassroots Peace Network in Bloomington, Indiana, in May. Robert Randall and Jessica Stewart tabled at the G-7 actions in Georgia. New England WTR had NWTRCC literature on their table at the Boston Social Forum, where NWTRCC also sponsored a workshop. Joe Maizlish will table for NWTRCC at the Fellowship of Reconciliation national conference in Los Angeles, August 5- 9. Please let the NWTRCC office know if you are willing to table at an event in your area, or if you know of an event we should cover.

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Resources

Radio Ads!

Just the other day an email came in from a radio producer at a small station in Connecticut asking for a public service announcement from NWTRCC. Thus we were reminded that NWTRCC has radio ads!

Former NWTRCC Coordinator Mary Loehr and Ithaca activist Pete Meyers made four PSA's last year. They vary in length from 10 to 22 seconds and are together on one CD. In both humorous and straightforward styles, they encourage listeners concerned about paying for war to contact NWTRCC for information.

Please call the office for a copy, and submit them to your local radio station.

Peaceful Outreach

Anti-war demonstrations continue apace around the country, and many people are leafleting outside showings of "Fahrenheit 9/11." So, be sure to show up at your local action with NWTRCC's brochure, "Why Isn't Everyone Who's for Peace a War Tax Resister?" Single copies: free; $12/100 from the NWTRCC office.

Grant Applications Sought

The Nonviolent Action Community of Cascadia is seeking grant applications from grassroots groups for activist organizing and education on issues of peace, social justice, and community empowerment.

Interested groups may download an application form and guidelines from our web site, or contact our office.

Funding limit is $2,000 per recipient group. Application deadline is August 15, 2004. Grants will be awarded October 1, 2004.

NACC 4554 12th Ave. NE Seattle, WA 98105 (206) 547-0952 http://seanacc.org, nacc@drizzle.com

WTR Classics

Nicely printed copies of Juanita Nelson's classic essay, "A Matter of Freedom," which was originally published in Liberation magazine in September 1960, are available from the NWTRCC office for $2 each postpaid. Find out the link between her Sears-Roebuck white terrycloth robe and war tax resistance.

This essay is also included in "Some Writings on War Tax Resistance," pamphlet #11 in the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute Essay Series. That pamphlet and #3, Henry David Thoreau's "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience," are also available from NWTRCC for $2 each postpaid. 

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War Tax Resistance Ideas & Actions

More Tax Day Reports

Cambridge, MA

New England War Tax Resistance (NEWTR) held a festive tax day event on April 15 in front of the Central Square Post Office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We set up tables with jars for the penny poll, and distributed hundreds of pie chart flyers. Many passersby took war tax resistance information and participated by distributing the ten pennies we gave them according to how they think tax dollars should be spent. The results: Education - 215, Health Care - 186, Housing - 154, Jobs - 101, and Military - 37.

Street theater was provided by Class Acts, with their "cell phone drill team" of corporate suits, performing a "drill" about the huge profits being made by corporations from the war.

We gave out pens provided by True Majority with a built in scroll that contrasts military spending in the U.S. with other countries. We had large colorful posters on this theme, part of a display that NEWTR member Minga Claggett-Borne designed. The display will be shown in a bank window in Harvard Square, which gives space to community groups each week. There is a great deal of pedestrian traffic passing by this Massachusetts Avenue bank, so it will be seen by many people.

Our event was co-sponsored by the Boston Committee for Palestinian Rights, who handed out information about the billions of U.S. dollars sent to Israel to support their military and to oppress the Palestinian people.
      -Deirdre Doran

New York City

Activists from NYC War Tax Resistance/ People's Life Fund and War Resisters League gathered in front of the main office of the IRS in midtown Manhattan for a noon vigil. The security person from the IRS came out to welcome us back for another year, and the local beat cop chatted with us about his days policing protests during the Vietnam War. Maybe things are getting too comfortable with our annual vigil line… This year we had a couple signs that listed some of the war profiteers, including Halliburton, and judging by the number of comments from the hurried passers-by, that is one very unpopular company-and a very good attention-getter.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia WRL joined with the Brandywine Peace Community tax day action, held from 4-7 pm on tax day in front of the 30th Street Post Office and then at the Kimmel Center, a new performing arts center. Our piece was called "No Millionaire Left Behind." We handed out the WRL pie chart flyer and an announcement thanking people for paying their taxes and supporting our rich lifestyle. They were invited to a celebration of being rich, with a request that "regular people" stand to one side and collect crumbs that might fall from the sumptuous feast and trickle-down from spilled drinks. We were all dressed to the nines and had a classic Jaguar. Many people got it, enjoyed it, and took the flyers. Some misunderstood and thought we were assuming that they were The Rich, but mostly there were lots of smiles, many from people who would not have been reached by the typical sign holding, shouting and chanting. An interesting little happening with a bus driver letting people off at the theatre: he asked us to turn the sign so that the people getting off the bus could see it.
      -Steve Gulick, with input from others

South Bend, IN

The South Bend Tribune ran a story on April 16 about the local tax day protest by individuals from groups including the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Michiana War Tax Refusers, and Michiana Peace and Justice Coalition. As people drove into the drop-off lane at the South Bend Post Office to mail tax returns, they were offered a WRL pie chart and greeted by signs protesting the use of tax dollars to fund the war in Iraq. The paper reports that the protesters were greeted by honks, thumbs-up gestures, and jeers. Over 1,000 pie charts were handed out.

Syracuse, NY

Students from Onondaga Community College, LeMoyne College, Syracuse University, and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry organized a "Taxation With Representation" penny poll at their colleges during tax week in mid- April. There was enthusiastic participation and dialogue. More than a few students spent several minutes allocating their pennies, followed by even longer political discussion. Many participants questioned their distribution strategy.

They debated, "Should I only support the category that is most important to me, or should I distribute the pennies the way in which they ought to be distributed?" The most controversial category was physical resources.

Many participants declared their support for physical resources, wanting to fund environmental protection, transportation, and alternative energy sources. However, they were often reluctant to commit more pennies to physical resources in order to show their disapproval of big business subsidies, especially those for oil and agribusinesses.
      -David Howe

Addendum from Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council:

We reached out to students for a few different reasons: 1) The Syracuse Peace Council has recently started a Bush Must Go! Campaign. The first phase, which was April and May, was called "Education Not Occupation," so we thought it would work well to do the tax day work at schools. 2) Young people are the ones who bear the burden of war disproportionately-they fight in war and pay for war longer than many of us will. 3) The week of April 15 can be somewhat dicey, weather-wise, in central New York. On a nasty day an outdoor venue is miserable, and there are not that many indoor venues that are welcoming to us. The students were welcome to set up tables at their schools, which ranged from a community junior college, to a variety of four-year schools: a large private university, a state university, and a small college (we had hoped to be in high schools, but they were on break.)

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Local Group Reports

Anti-War in Asheville

By Judy Conrad & Jim Stockwell

On Saturday, March 20, tens of thousands of people in at least 700 cities around the world demonstrated against the war in Iraq on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion. Conscientious war tax resisters in Asheville, North Carolina-Fools of Conscience-participated in three separate events over that weekend.

We facilitated a WTR "teach-in" on Friday evening on the campus of the University of NC-Asheville in conjunction with demonstrations that day called by Students for Democracy and Peace (SDP) in solidarity with victims of the U.S. war on Iraq.

The next day Fools of Conscience (derived from our annual April Fool's Day gathering to plan a Tax Day event) tabled at the Global Day of Action rally in Asheville, sponsored by Western NC Peace Coalition ("Fools" is a member) and Veterans for Peace. Over 500 people came, and folks who stopped by the WTR table asked deep, meaningful questions that gave us a great sense of encouragement. There were music and speakers, including "our own" Clare Hanrahan, who called for a more transparent government, an end to the lies, and to bring our troops home. Throughout her speech Clare asked the emphatic question, "How long are we willing to pay for war?" The crowd responded, "No more!" in loud unity. Following the rally, we marched through downtown Asheville and ended by creating a memorial for all war dead.

On Sunday, CELO Friends Meeting invited Fools of Conscience to facilitate an adult education evening for conversation and sharing about conscientious war tax resistance/refusal/peace taxpaying. Throughout the weekend many people were engaged in thoughtful discussions about peace taxpaying and simple living- which reflect the two faces of nonviolence- noncooperation with evil and cooperating with good. The Fools of Conscience who participated were Jim, Sebastian, Judy S., Clare, Steve, and Judy C. Together we have over 150 years of tax resistance.

New England Gathering 2004

The New England WTR gathering will be November 12-14 in Kennebunk, Maine, at The New School, an alternative high school that offers a very open learning environment and nontraditional topics and classes. The building is wheelchair accessible, and there is plenty of room on floors and couches for sleeping, along with beds in nearby homes. Six vegetarian meals will be provided from Friday supper through Sunday lunch. Program details will be available shortly. Cost for the full weekend is $0-50 per adult with adjusted rates for attending part of the time; children are free. For questions and registration forms, contact Larry Dansinger, (207) 525-7776 or invert@acadia.net.

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WTR Remembrance

Dave Dellinger; August 22, 1915 - May 25, 2004

Beginning with his draft resistance in 1940 while a student at Union Theological Seminary, Dave Dellinger devoted his life to nonviolent direct action against government-sponsored violence. His leadership during the Vietnam antiwar movement and the 1969 trial of the Chicago Seven brought him national prominence and a place at the forefront of American radical pacifism.

Dave Dellinger was also a longtime war tax resister. In the 1970s he and his wife, Elizabeth Peterson, lived in New York City, and Ed Hedemann remembers the time they moved from one Brooklyn neighborhood to another. Despite the usual slowness of change-of-address procedures, Dave reported with amazement that the day they moved in a letter from the IRS was waiting. The family moved to Vermont in the late 1970s, where he became part of the war tax resisters support network there and the Northern Lights affinity group. "He never gave up," says wtr and affinity group member Lori Barg, and she holds a lasting memory of Dave out protesting the start of the war in Iraq on an absolutely freezing cold day last year.

When the Randy Kehler/Betsy Corner house in Colrain, Massachusetts, was seized in 1989, many affinity groups participated in occupying the house after the family was evicted. "I have this wonderful memory of Dave, Elizabeth, and the affinity group from northern Vermont coming down the road to our house for their week-long vigil in it. It was very affirming to have this group of experienced elders showing up for a week of resistance!" says Betsy.

Randy remembers an occasion in the winter or early spring of 1992 when Dave and Ram Das happened to be in the Colrain house at the same time. "They had a wonderful exchange, sitting together on our living room couch, while a couple dozen of us occupiers and vigilers listened and asked them questions. Whereas some of us expected that there might be some interesting tension between 'the activist' and 'the seeker,' both men, in their own way, talked about the inseparability of spirituality and political action, each affirming and appreciating the path of the other. It was quite lovely and showed the great spirit of both.

"I also remember Dave sitting on that same couch and me saying to him something like, 'I wish this thing (the whole situation around the seizure and sale of our house) hadn't gotten so COMPLICATED!' To which Dave replied, throwing his head back with a roar of laughter mixed with what seemed like a lifetime of anguish, 'It's ALLLLL-ways complicated!'"

It's unlikely that any call to war tax resistance in the last 30 years appeared without David Dellinger as a signer, and just over a year ago he added his name to NWTRCC and WRL's Appeal to Conscience. He was always active with and supportive of nonviolent resistance to violence in its many forms. We will miss him.

Reprinted here is part of Dave Dellinger's preface to Ain't Gonna Pay for War No More by Robert Calvert, published in 1971 by National War Tax Resistance. The book is long out of print but the points are ever-current.

There are two kinds of people who don't pay income taxes. On the one hand, there are the Ronald Reagans, the oil millionaires and other wealthy profiteers who manage to manipulate their assets and their tax returns to take advantage of the loopholes for the wealthy that have been created by an upper-class-oriented Congress and IRS. Their way of life is the pursuit and protection of private wealth and privilege at the expense of their fellows. Although they may not like to think of it in quite so direct terms, they endorse the napalming of Indochinese peasants and the violent overthrow of governments that seek to put an end to the exploitation of their natural and human resources by American corporations. They support America's Phoenix plan for assassinating 80,000 Vietnamese villagers who are thought to form the "infra-structure" of the Vietnamese Independence movement-assassinations organized and carried out by methods already perfected by American assassination teams in Latin America. At home, they demand a repressive FBI and Justice Department, a heavily armed and conscienceless National Guard, a system of courts, police and prisons that protect the present extremes of wealth and poverty from the thrust of the poor, the nonwhite and the believers in a classless society. Their main concern is to avoid paying their share of the costs of the policies they advocate and benefit from financially.

And then there are the Bob Calverts and the people he has written for and about in this little book. They refuse to pay for the instruments of murder and repression, not because they are interested in self-aggrandizement but because they are opposed to murder and repression…

Ain't Gonna Pay for War No More allows for a multiplicity of attitudes and stages of growth or commitment without losing any of its clarity or incisiveness. In the end, its goal is to reveal the potential power of tax refusal as an organized method of changing the nature of society… It doesn't provide a formula for "seizing power," but it does something far more relevant: it shows how state power can be undermined and destroyed; decentralized and restored to people.

Finally, this book shows how the negative act of tax refusal can be combined with positive acts of promoting and financing alternative projects that become the seedbed of new institutions and relationships. The power to tax is the power to destroy-twice-over. It destroys the bodies of those who fall victim to American firepower and repression. Less dramatically but nonetheless surely, it mercilessly destroys the consciences and humanity of those who willingly surrender their taxes to the government. Alternatively, the power to refuse is the power to preserve life and create hope.

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National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
PO Box 150553, Brooklyn, NY 11215 • Email: nwtrcc@nwtrcc.org
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