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War Resisters To Block IRS Headquarters

March 18, 2008
11:47 AM

CONTACT: War Resisters
Frida Berrigan 347-683-4928
Jim Martin 718-610-9810
Ed Hedemann 917-474-4380

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NEW YORK - March 18 - Tomorrow, March 19, a number of activist organizations committed to peace and progress will stage a nonviolent blockade at the national headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C. The action is part of a day of protests on the fifth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Participants will assemble at McPherson Square (15th Street. N.W. and K Street, N.W.) at 7 am, before marching -- with the Rude Mechanical Orchestra -- on the IRS (1111 Constitution Ave., N.W.). The blockade is set to begin at 8 am. Some demonstrators will block access to the IRS building while others will pass out flyers explaining the intent of the action. Signs, banners and props will be utilized to illustrate the disparity between war spending and the needs of an economy crippled by five years of war.

"Just as military recruiters supply bodies for the war, the IRS supplies the funding," stated New York City WRL organizer Ed Hedemann. "So, I'm doing my part in disrupting that relentless flow of money by standing in front of the IRS entrance and by refusing to send my taxes to the IRS."

More than 20 organizations are sponsoring the event, including: the War Resisters League, Code Pink, United for Peace & Justice, Movement for a Democratic Society, Ground Zero for Peace, Granny Peace Brigade, and the Socialist Party USA. Members of the participating organizations feel the need to engage in civil disobedience in order to dramatize their vigorous opposition to United States government's wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and President George W. Bush's "global war on terror."

Ruth Benn, long-time War Resisters League activist, argues "The bloodshed has already cost the lives of thousands of Americans, Iraqis, Afghanis, and others, and is hemorrhaging vast sums of money vitally needed to improve lives in this country and abroad. At the same time half the people in the U.S. feel less safe while the government has ignored calls from experts and activists for a foreign policy that rejects war."

The blockade is part of a full day of creative, nonviolent actions and civil disobedience in Washington, D.C., and across the country. The protests are being coordinated by United for Peace and Justice in an effort to disrupt the business of war as usual. The actions will focus on the "pillars of war" -- the military, war funding, war profiteering, the security state, and the mainstream media. Civil disobedience participants will have undergone special trainings in nonviolence.

The War Resisters League is an 85-year-old secular pacifist organization, headquartered in New York City, and is affiliated with the War Resisters' International, which is based in London. WRL believes war to be a crime against humanity, and advocates Gandhian nonviolence as the method for creating a democratic society free of war, racism, sexism, and human exploitation.

More details of this event can be found at


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