Press Release 2021
Tax Day 2021
For Immediate Release: April 8, 2021
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC)
Contact: Lincoln Rice, Coordinator
800-269-7464 (262-399-8217) or email@example.com
Refusing to Pay for 4 More Years of U.S. Militarism
“War Tax Resisters” Protest with Their Money
War tax resisters are taking to the streets to call for an end to endless war on people and the environment. They are not under any delusions that the Biden presidency will rein in military spending.
U.S. weaponry is used to not only kill people in places like Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan, but it is also employed to harm and intimidate—and sometimes kill—Black and Brown citizens in the United States. Since 9/11, over $1.6 billion of military equipment has been transferred to police departments under the 1033 program. Additionally, funding for the militarized Custom and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) terrorizes our immigrant communities with raids and inhumanely separating families. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed misplaced priorities and the gross misuse of federal tax funds. Despite 550,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. and a lack of resources to help Americans weather this crisis, government payments to military contractors have not skipped a beat. And on top of all this, the U.S. military is the largest institutional user of oil in the world—burning 240,000 barrels of oil each day—and no plan to halt climate change is adequate that does not address the military budget.
Thousands of people across the United States—from San Diego to Manhattan—will be protesting the U.S. military budget on the days surrounding traditional Tax Day (April 15) and the date on which taxes are due this year (May 17). They will promote war tax resistance and highlight the deep flaws of our current budget.
The proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2022 continues to take our country in the wrong direction. This massive proposed budget would continue to keep military spending at 48% of the current federal spending with $1.7 trillion being dedicated to past and present military expenses.
Not waiting for the government to act, activists will openly refuse to pay their taxes to the IRS and will instead redirect those funds to humanitarian programs. Erica Leigh of Seattle, Washington, says, “I want to live in accordance with my values and paying for militarism does not fit into that.” Maria Smith of Cleveland, Ohio states that she is “totally transparent on her tax form,” she just refuses to pay for killing at home and abroad. Her war tax resistance “embraces the full amount of my commitment to nonviolence.”
In Berkeley, California, members of Northern California People’s Life Fund will redirect $60,000 in resisted war taxes. They received grant applications earlier this spring and will announce the names of the groups receiving $2,500 grants during an online ceremony on April 15. They will prioritize “essential day-to day human services which the government is not adequately furnishing, together with educational or other work that identifies and seeks to change the root causes of the problem.” The group was founded by war tax resisters in 1971 to pool their resisted war taxes. People’s Life Fund member Susan Quinlan says, “There are so many excellent groups that are working to protect families, communities, and the natural environment, and we are delighted to support these efforts. With U.S. military spending surpassing $1 trillion, we invite others to imagine what good could come from redirecting these military funds on a grand scale.”
The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) has coordinated tax day actions since 1983. NWTRCC is a coalition of local, regional, and national groups providing information and support to people who are conscientious objectors to paying taxes for war. NWTRCC partners with the Global Days of Action on Military Spending coordinated from Barcelona, Spain to join protests of war spending in the U.S. with a demand for global disarmament and a shift in priorities to sustainable development.
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War tax resisters are available for interviews. Please contact NWTRCC, 1-800-269-7464, firstname.lastname@example.org, for contacts in your area.
Up-to-date list of Tax Day actions, https://nwtrcc.org/tax-day-actions-2021/
“Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes” — War Resisters League pie chart, https://www.warresisters.org/resources/wrl-pie-chart-flyers-where-your-income-tax-money-really-goes
Global Day of Action on Military Spending, http://demilitarize.org/
Militarization of the Police, https://nwtrcc.org/police/
Climate Crisis, Taxes, & War, https://nwtrcc.org/war-tax-resistance-resources/readings/environment-taxes-and-war/