National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

National War Tax Resistance • Strategy session
Chicago CC Meeting — May 19, 2012

Bill Glassmire introduced the session with a bit of history and a question for the future. NWTRCC came into being as a coalition/network of local WTR groups. NWTRCC was not intended to be an individual membership group, but rather to support local activists and groups, provide connections between them and technical support and advice, and help them promote WTR activism.

For Bill, Larry Rosenwald’s article (More Than a Paycheck, October/November 2011) suggests a coordinated national campaign toward a specific goal. Larry’s article advocated making war tax resistance more friction for the government than it is presently, by being public and outspoken about our WTR. Further, Larry argued that the WTR community should make a clear demand upon the government, for example demanding a large reduction in military spending.

Larry’s article raises some questions to get us thinking more strategically. Shall we/NWTRCC continue to limit our work to supporting local groups? or do we want to try to be more friction to the government in the way that Larry proposes? if we want to do that, how do we do it?

Ideas that came up during the Friday night session:

Part 1: General Discussion and Ideas:

Strategy Part Ⅱ — Name some larger goals and what specific thing do we need to work toward that goal in the next 6 months?

Note: we did not really have time to do all we wanted with this, but perhaps we can continue at the next meeting or use it for further discussion.

  1. Some sort of internet advertising (Facebook or more general) with goal of raising awareness of WTR among young people. Set a measurable goal — getting bothered by WTR notices at least 100 times in the next 6 months? Help get people together who respond. Tracking interest by FB page, contacts through link.
    6-month idea: Create a link to the Boycott page to get people to sign on. We can measure how many do that by who signs on if the ad connects to the Boycott
  2. In April when people organize an event get them to think of us too. In 2012 there were other events and they did not connect to the WTRs. Bug the people you know who belong to other groups to be in touch. Coalition building on the local/regional level.
    6-month idea: Be effective in 2013 — at least more contacts to do events together. Groups should think of WTR — “us” and ask to work together or endorse. We need to go out to these groups. Immigrant rights groups are proud of paying taxes — so we have to debunk this. “I’m a taxpaying citizen so listen to me.” The more we pay into it the more we collapse it.
  3. Creation of intentional, live-in WTR communities that would allow more young people to share resources.
    6-month idea: Write an article about intentional communities for newsletter or produce a brochure on the topic to hand out.
  4. Promotion of the DVD and tie in with 9-11.
    6-month idea: Show our DVD in connection with 9-11 hoax DVDs.
  5. Encourage people to take small steps. Get widespread participation. Withhold $10 with statement of why they do it. Creates substantial problem for IRS.
  6. Revitalize local affiliate groups via a group to help support these affiliates.
    6-month idea: Use $$ from the grant to help support them; have a committee to work on this.
  7. Look at groups who are not affiliate groups, even if not prepared to do it are they willing to support you to do it. Have to invest time to be with people and figure out where on the journey they are. Outreach is the easy part. Making connection is longer term.
    6-month idea: Talk to people who disagree with you. Seeking fellow traveler orgs for affiliation and support.
  8. Explain global economic war machine and environmental degradation and our resistance to it.
    6-month idea: Media strategy related to our 30th anniversary.
  9. Awareness of NV conflict resolution through creation of an archive.
    6-month idea: Find someone to do a website or template for this.
  10. Increase awareness of WTR/redirection by announcing grants on local level — getting media etc. Encourage people to use alternative funds.
  11. Setting up a mutual aid system, knowing who to call wherever you are and such. Create a directory with people offering services and assets to share like caregiving, hospitality, transport, legal help, etc.
  12. Oral history project. Create a DVD out of it. In 6 months collect names of people to interview.
  13. Education campaign about militarism and the debt. Talking about debt — gives opportunity to reach out to people that we don’t always talk to. Have those conversations that are uncomfortable. If we had good thing on internet on this topic we could do it.
    Resource: Film — IOUSA
  14. Create ethical investment opportunities for/of our common wealth. Where to redirect.
  15. Speakers Bureau/WTR Circuit Riders– have some money for a fund to get speakers around, like Karl Meyer’s idea for a WTR circuit rider, get funded to travel and such. More than one person to do this. Cross pollination.

Of this list, we did some ranking by each voting for two ideas. By a large margin the top 2 were #1 (internet advertising) and #6 (revitalize affiliate groups).

We started making ties between ideas on this list but ran out of time. Some linked ideas with #1 were: 4, 5, 9, 13, 8 and with #6 were: 2, 3, 10

Thanks to Robert for his helpful minutes!

Return to May 2012 Meeting Minutes

Photos from Chicago NATO protest and NWTRCC gathering