BROOKLYN, NY - April 9 - While millions of people in the U.S. are questioning the truth and consequences of the war in Iraq, more and more taxpayers are asking themselves how they can in good conscience pay for it, and many will be taking their protest to the street. On Tax Day, April 15, people around the country will be holding demonstrations and vigils or just leafleting with educational flyers in front of IRS offices and post offices around the U.S.
In Portland, Oregon, protesters will gather at Pioneer Courthouse Square wearing barrels and not much else. Their message: "Military spending has stripped us of our resources for schools, healthcare, etc."
At the Oakland, California, Federal Building, a press conference and creative nonviolent protest will announce, "We will not fund war and occupation." Joining this event will be Julia Butterfly Hill, who was recognized around the world for her two-year tree sit in the ancient redwood known as Luna. Last year, Ms Hill announced that she was making the largest single act of war tax resistance in history by reallocating over $100,000 in federal taxes to nonprofit organizations. Ms. Hill's tax bill was the result of a lawsuit settlement in which she donated 100% of the pro-ceeds to charity. She says, "Thousands of others before me have taken this stand. I am not avoiding paying taxes. I have thought through this very carefully, and with a clear mind and heart I am humanely re-directing my tax payments to where they belong, because our current federal government refuses to do so."
The office of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) collects a listing of tax day actions, which appears at the bottom of this release. NWTRCC has supported war tax resisters -- people who refuse to pay for killing -- for 25 years, but this year a new group of people are considering resistance for the first time. They are people who want to pay their taxes and are not anxious to tangle with the IRS, but are increasingly troubled by how U.S. tax dollars are being used. "I just can't give them more for this war," said a caller to NWTRCC from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Well known poet and Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh Dennis Brutus is one of these people. In regard to his federal tax bill he says, "I am prepared to pay taxes where these are due but have decided not to pay taxes that will be used to purchase arms for immoral and unjust actions such as the invasion and occupation of Iraq, among many other actions. I am prepared to become a Tax Resister to protest the use of taxes for unjust and immoral military action. I am willing to pay legitimate taxes, if this can be agreed upon and have asked to know what percent-age of my taxes will be used for military purposes and have not yet received information."
At a time when states and cities are forced to cut services such as meals for the elderly, library hours, and school maintenance, in February the Bush Administration proposed a budget for 2005 that dramatically increased military spending for weapons systems, but didn't even include money for the war on terrorism. While Defense Secretary Rumsfeld testified July 9, 2003, to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the war in Iraq is costing about $3.9 billion a month, the Administration said in February that it could not estimate the cost of war. Instead they an-nounced that a request for paying for the war would come "after the elections" and would be about $50 billion.
Tax Day Actions
Along with individual resisters, people who are just plain mad about federal budget priorities will take action in their communities on April 15, tax day. Small and large groups in towns and cities around the country will hand out educational leaflets about military spending at post offices and IRS offices. These events include:
Tax Day Actions April 2004, listed by state at: http://www.nwtrcc.org/taxday2004.htm
Activities are on April 15, unless otherwise noted. In most cases phone numbers are listed for further details, or call NWTRCC (718) 768-3420 for information.
Allentown, PA - LEPOCO Peace Center. (610) 691-8730. Leafletting at post offices.
Amherst, MA - Pioneer Valley War Tax Resisters. (413)-773-8655 or email@example.com. Leafletting at the post office, 2-4 pm.
Andover, MA - Bread and Roses Affinity Group & others. (978) 683-3967 or www.deathandtaxesfest.org. April 10, 12:00 noon, annual "Death and Taxes" march from the IRS (RT. 133, Andover) to Raytheon; on April 15, file calling for prosecution of Raytheon for war crimes.
Ann-Arbor/Ypsilanti, MI - Women's International League for Peace and Freedom joined by other local peace groups. (734) 483-0058 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tax Day Demonstration with speeches at the Ann Arbor Federal Building, Liberty at 5th, Noon to 1 pm.
Asheville, NC - Fools of Conscience. (828) 277-0758 or email@example.com. Around 4/1 and 4/15. Actions and coordination of donations to/from the Taxes for Life! Alternative Fund.
Athens, OH - Appalachian Peace and Justice Network. (740) 592-2608. Penny poll at post of-fice, 11 am - 7 pm.
Augusta, ME - Peace Action Maine, others including Vets for Peace. (207) 525-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Leafletting at post office.
Austin, TX - Austin Conscientious Objectors to Military Taxation. (512) 467-2946. Press con-ference to give away redirected taxes. Leafletting at Central P.O.
Bangor, ME - Peace and Justice Center and others. (207) 942-9343 or email@example.com. Leaf-letting on budget priorities at post office.
Belfast, ME - (207) 525-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Leafletting on budget priorities at the post office.
Bellingham, WA - Whatcom Peace and Justice Center (WPJC). (360) 734-0217. Showing documentary "Just Say No" by local filmmaker Jerry Swan. Benefit for the WPJC, sponsored by Community Food Co-op and the Whatcom Film Association. Music by Raging Grannies.
Bethlehem, PA - LEPOCO Peace Center. (610) 691-8730. Leafletting at post offices.
Boulder, CO - Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. (303) 444-6981. Street theatre and leafleting at mall/ main post office.
Brattleboro, VT - Pioneer Valley War Tax Resisters (PVWTR). (413) 773-8655. Penny poll, redirecting war tax resisted money, giving away pens with military spending chart.
Brunswick, ME - Peace Action and others. (207) 729-0517 or email@example.com. Leafletting on budget priorities at post office.
Cambridge, MA - New England War Tax Resistance and Boston Committee for Palestinian Rights. firstname.lastname@example.org. Protest with music by Raging Grannies, penny poll, leafleting. Central Square Post Office, Pleasant St. & Mass. Ave., 5:30 - 8 pm.
Chicago, IL - Chicago Area War Resisters Support Group. (773) 784-8065 or email@example.com. Penny poll, music, speakers, bannering, leafletting and possibly samples of fair-trade organic coffee. Federal Plaza, downtown Chicago, 11am - 2 pm.
Cleveland, OH - Coalition (Joining Forces) including Cleveland Nonviolent Network and Inter-religious Task Force. (216) 961-0003. "War Costs Too Much" events include leafletting at all post offices in Cleveland; 5 pm rally/street theater at Public Square downtown, then walk to main post office/vigil.
Corvallis, OR - Corvallis WTR. firstname.lastname@example.org. Leafletting at the post office.
Des Moines, IA - Iowa Peace Network. (515) 255-7114. Nollen Plaza, 11:30 - 1:30 and Main Post Office, 4:30 - 6:00. Leafletting, drummers, penny poll.
Dubuque, IA - Citizens' Tax Moratorium. (563) 583-2586. Vigil/leafletting at U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Locust, 5-7 pm.
Easton, PA - LEPOCO Peace Center. (610) 691-8730. Leafletting at post offices.
Eugene, OR - Military Tax Resisters of Lane County. (541) 465-9240 or email@example.com. Ta-bling at the main post office.
Farmington, ME - Peace Action Maine and others. (207) 645-4755 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Leaf-letting on budget priorities at the post office.
Fort Collins, CO - Center for Justice, Peace & Environment. (970) 484-8039. Distribute litera-ture and hand out pieces of pie to "take back the pie chart." Penny poll.
Greenfield, MA - Pioneer Valley War Tax Resisters (PVWTR). (413) 773-8655. Penny poll and 2nd year of "Starve the Pentagon, Feed the People" redirection of tax dollars campaign. International Falls, MN - (218) 286-5819. Leafletting at City Hall and county offices near tax time, weather permitting!
Louisville, KY-Fellowship of Reconciliation (502) 458-8056 or email@example.com. Hand-ing out the pie chart at March 19 rally. Leafletting on April 14. Hosting a speaker on April 15. Madison, WI -WILPF & So. Wisconsin Alternative Tax Fund. (608) 257-2554 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Leafletting early evening at the Westside post office.
Milwaukee, WI - Milwaukee War Tax Resistance, Casa Maria Catholic Worker, Peace Action Wisconsin. (414) 344-5745. Rally at federal building, Noon - 1 pm, then civil disobedience. Leafletting at the main post office downtown at night.
New Haven, CT - Peace and Justice News & Views. email@example.com. Leafletting at Noon at Church and Chapel St. by the New Haven Green as well as at the Orange St. Post Of-fice. 10 pm at the Brewery St. Post Office.
New London, CT - Southeastern Connecticut Peace & Justice Network. Emmett Jarrett at (860) 437-8890 or Joanne Sheehan at (860) 889-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Leaflet in front of the post office from 11:30-1:30 and 3 - 6pm.
New York City, NY - NYC War Tax Resistance and NYC WRL. (718) 768-7306. Leafletting at main IRS office in Manhattan at Noon - 2 pm.
Newcastle, ME - Peace Action Maine and others. (207) 563-5416 or email@example.com. Leaflet-ting at the post office
Norway, ME - Peace Action Maine and others including members of Veterans for Peace. (207) 525-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Leafletting at the post office.
Oakland, CA - Northern California War Tax Resistance, Direct Action to Stop the War, SUSTAIN and others. (510) 843-9877 or http://www.nowartax.org. Press conference and crea-tive nonviolent protest: Oakland Federal Building, 1301 Clay Street, 11:30 am.
Philadelphia, PA - Philadelphia WRL. (215) 732-8137. Leafletting at the 30th Street Post Of-fice. Conscience, Militarism and War Tax Concerns Working Group, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. (215) 241-7230. Leafletting by area Friends Meetings at area post offices.
Portland, ME - Peace Action Maine and others including members of Veterans for Peace. (207) 525-7776 or email@example.com. Leafletting at the post office.
Portland, OR - Oregon Community for War Tax Resistance-WRL Portland. (503) 238-0605 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Protest at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. Includes protesters wearing barrels and not much else. Noon.
Princeton, NJ - Coalition for Peace Action.. (609) 924-5022 or www.peacecoalition.org. Penny poll and distribute literature in front of the Post Office at Palmer Square, Noon - 1 pm.
St. Louis, MO - St. Louis Covenant Community of WTR and St. Louis WILPF. (314) 725-5303 or email@example.com. Leafletting at downtown main post office, 11 am - 1 pm.
Santa Barbara, CA - Vigil protesting war taxes. firstname.lastname@example.org. Federal courthouse, 1415 State Street, 8:30 a.m., prior to the arraignment of MacGregor Eddy for Vandenberg Air Force base action.
Santa Rosa, CA - Sonoma County Taxes for Peace. (707) 823-9203 or email@example.com. Leafletting at 5 Post Offices.
Scarborough, ME - Peace Action Maine & others. (207) 525-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Leafletting at the post office.
Seattle, WA - Nonviolent Action Community of Cascadia (NACC). (206) 547-0952 or email@example.com. Leafletting area post offices on tax day.
South Bend, IN - Michiana War Tax Refusers. (574) 289-2126 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Vigil with leafletting at main post office, 6 pm-midnight.
Syracuse, NY - Syracuse Peace Council. (315) 472-5478 or email@example.com. Penny poll and leafletting at high schools and colleges.
Tucson, AZ - Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Tucson branch. (520) 312-9988. Leafletting at busiest local post offices all day and through the evening at main post office.
Washington, DC - DC Area War Tax Resistance. (202) 635-3739 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Redistribution of resisted tax money at IRS Headquarters, 1111 Constitution NW, Noon.
Actions on days prior to April 15 with group contacts:
Albuquerque, NM - Peace and Justice Center. (505) 323-5539 or email@example.com. March 29. Workshop on War Tax Resistance, An Introduction.
Chico, CA - WTR workshops in early April. (530) 345-7590.
Lancaster, PA - Taxes for Life. (717) 859-3889 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Worship service focusing on peace. Offering of withheld tax dollars to be donated to a project promoting peace. April 9, 3:00 p.m.
Nashville, TN - Nashville Greenlands. (615) 322-9523. War Tax Refusal Clinic, April 3.
New Orleans, LA - Pax Christi New Orleans. (504) 522-3751. Protest and vigil at main post office on Loyola Avenue. 4-6 pm on April 3.
Newton, KS - Heartland Peace Tax Group (316) 283-7421 or email@example.com. Good Friday (April 9) Stations of the Cross prayer walk; contributing resisted money to three local so-cial service agencies.