by Ruth Benn
April 16, 2007
Brooklyn, NY - Post offices, federal buildings, and IRS offices will be the site of leafleting and vigils during the last days to file 2006 taxes on April 16 and 17. Demonstrators will declare “YES” to funding for human needs and “NO” to continued funding for war. Anger among taxpayers is rising as Congress approves billions more dollars for the wars and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, even as polls show 70% of Americans disapprove of the war in Iraq.
In more than a dozen towns and cities across Maine taxpayers will be handed flyers declaring, “Schools or tanks? Health Care or Bombs? Which Will You Pay For?” In Fort Collins, Colorado, postal patrons will be greeted with “Take Back the Pie” signs and handed a piece of pie and a pie chart flyer showing how half of income taxes pay for past, present, and future wars. The “YES!” demonstration at the Federal Building in Philadelphia will demand a shift from war funding to other programs including universal health care; housing; ending hunger; programs for youth, immigrants, and seniors; stopping global warming and restoring the environment.
The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) has collected a list of tax day actions to share with activists and the media. It is attached below and posted on the internet at www.nwtrcc.org/taxday2007.htm.
In addition to protesting government priorities, some people refuse to pay their income taxes to the IRS, because they cannot in good conscience pay for war. These war tax resisters often redirect those funds to groups that work for peace and human needs.
“I will not contribute to the government while it’s waging an illegal war,” said Bryan Nelson of New Brunswick, New Jersey, as he announced publicly on April 7 that he would not send his $3,000 taxes due to the IRS, but would instead donate it to nonprofit organizations. On April 16 in Berkeley, California, more than $10,000 pooled from a group of resisters will be redirected to groups that are working for peace, justice, and human needs in the community. Such redirection events also take place in Eugene, Oregon; Greenfield, Massachusetts; and Los Angeles, California.
War tax resisters face penalties and collection efforts by the IRS. In Santa Cruz, California, war tax resister and Vietnam era conscientious objector Scott Kennedy was informed that his wages were being garnished by the IRS for taxes due. Kennedy said, “The House of Representatives has just recommended another $100 billion for our brutal, immoral, and unwinnable war in Iraq. I won’t in good conscience voluntarily pay for such madness, because of its cost in U.S. lives and squandered resources and because of the devastation and loss of life it is causing in Iraq.”
The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC), founded in 1982, is a coalition of local, regional and national groups to provide information and support to people who are conscientious objectors to paying taxes for war.
Protests on (or near) Tax Day, Tuesday, April 17, 2007 Updated at www.nwtrcc.org/taxday2007.htm