Thursday, July 31, 2014

Petitions, Marches, and Rallies, Oh My! By Cindy Sheehan

"Let them march all they want, as long as they continue to pay their taxes."
Alexander Haig
Nixon Chief of Staff
As a War Tax Refuser (WTR), I have written about this many times before, but every time something like the current bombardment of Gaza by Israel is happening (with US taxpayer funding) there is a lot of talk and graphics about "Your Tax Dollars at Work." I breathe a sigh of relief, because I know that, at least, it is not MY tax dollars at work.
There are also many petitions going around demanding from the US government that it stop funding the international war crimes and crimes against humanity of Israel. Those petitions actually tickle me because when has the USG ever displayed any sympathy towards the people of Palestine in general and Gaza specifically? The elitist war criminals in the US Senate just unanimously passed a resolution in support of Israel. One of my own Zionist Senators Barbara Boxer just introduced a bill (co-sponsored by "liberal" darling, Elizabeth Warren from Mass) that actually is proposing to INCREASE the funding to Israel. Does it sound like these people will be receptive to a petition? Especially when most of the ignorant propagandees in the US believe that poor Israel is the victim?
How many rallies have we all been to demanding peace and justice from all the International War Criminals? 
How many ballots have we cast for the latest "peace hero" who turns out to be a war zero? 
How many deserted streets have we marched through yelling at and shaking our fists at empty buildings?
I know I have been doing this peace work for just over 10 years and I can't even count how many miles I have marched or how many countries I have traveled to in this quest.
In my opinion, if everyone of us who cared about these issues made the principled decision to withhold our money from the murderous government, we would finally start to see some change and they couldn't persecute millions of us.
I know it's frightening to take this bold step because I have done it.
"I will lose my house." Many WTRs own homes so that is not necessarily true and residences can be protected, but I signed my half over during the divorce solving that problem. I am so much happier as a renter. I have more freedom of movement and have ended that "death pledge" (mortgage) I made to the mortgage banker mobsters.
"I will lose my car." Sell it, cars are expensive and they ruin the environment, anyway. It's American counter-cultural and not always convenient, but it is possible. I sold my last car in 2007.
"They will garnishee my wages." Probably, but many WTRs live below the level required to pay taxes, or end their relationship with wage slavery all together. This also requires living in opposition to our consumer-materialism driven culture, but that is also very liberating.
"I will go to prison." Also, probably not, however, I would choose to go to prison over knowing that I am financially supporting even one person being killed by the War Machine. Don't you think I'd rather be in prison as a principled war tax refuser than knowing that for several decades I was funding war and torture AND I eventually paid for my own son's murder? 
I had a showdown with the IRS and the IRS was the one that blinked. 
I am not a legal expert or expert on WTR, but it's lucky that I know some people who are and I also know that they would be happy to answer any questions you have.
I think the time has long passed that we just give lip service, or shoe leather to what we believe in. 
It's time to take a stand. 
If you oppose war, why do you pay for it?
Go to National War Tax Resistance Co-ordinating Committee for help and more information, the world is counting on us!

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