This site last updated March 30, 2012.

new york city war tax resistance—
2011 annual report

On Monday, April 18, New York City War Tax Resistance held its annual protest in front of the Internal Revenue Service office, 110 West 44th Street, 12:00-2:00 PM, followed by a march to the General Post Office (8th Avenue & 33rd Street) at 5:00 PM. Below is the text of our update to membership:

the year in review

The winter of 2011 will long be remembered as a winter of Middle East revolution. After a long somnolent period of corrupt dictatorship, the people have risen and said “No more.” It is perhaps unique that country after country rose like a fire spreading its message—We want change! Certainly, this is unique for the Middle East.

In the U.S., however, the right wing of the Republican party has consolidated gains they have been charting in Middle America and the West. Certainly, the roller coaster electorate is nothing new. It tries one party for a while, and when that fails to renew the economy, it tries the other.

The country has never built a third party, a labor party, as most of Europe has, and the choice remains, as we used to say in the fifties, Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

But perhaps this is a sign of the impotence of our political system. The states can do only so much and some certainly have built enviable health systems. But the nation cannot emulate those gains.

Of course, the states are free, by and large, of the burden of “defense” spending or what might more appropriately be called “war” spending. As the federal budget for fiscal year 2011 indicates, close to 50% of our budget goes to military spending, for war preparation and war itself. It is a sad story but not too different from the course chosen by all great military powers.

Life Funds throughout the country do what they can to lessen the strain on local groups coping with urban problems. And this April 18th they will be protesting military spending at local IRSs just as we do in New York City.

We hope you can join us at the IRS to award thousand dollar grants to 5 outstanding New York City groups and to celebrate the many alternative funds throughout the country that are funding peace.

grant award ceremony

This year the New York City People's Life Fund is pleased to award five $1,000 grants to organizations providing critically needed services to the community. We will announce the award recipients on April 18 in a special ceremony in front of the IRS.

Our celebration this year takes on special significance because 40 years ago on July 4, 1971, the New York City People's Life Fund was founded. As part of our commemoration of this event, we have undertaken creation of a second edition of our groundbreaking book, Why Just Survive?—Flourish!

what can you do?

  1. Visit our web page for hints on how to get started in phone tax resistance, a relatively risk-free means of resisting the war. Several helpful tips can be found at our First Steps page. At the end of the year your resisted phone taxes can be given to the New York City People's Life Fund to be redirected into grants and discretionary gifts to vital community groups. Although a small amount, resistance to this tax is a direct reminder of refusal to support war. For some, it is their sole means of resistance.
  2. Keep in touch with upcoming events and actions at the War Resisters League site.

help us make a difference

Since the days of the Vietnam War, New York City War Tax Resistance (NYC WTR) has stood in opposition to the illogic and savagery of war. In that time it has counseled aspiring war tax resisters and provided support to those experiencing difficulties with the Internal Revenue Service.

Recognizing that resistance is only the beginning we must also create a model for an alternative. Many resisters in the New York area have chosen to put their resisted moneys into New York City People's Life Fund (NYC PLF), enabling it to redirect tens of thousands of dollars in grants and loans to local community groups. These groups give wing to the possibility for change. It is your resisted war taxes and contributions that make this change possible.

The current depressed economy has obviously cut into the budget of every American to a greater or lesser extent. Thus, NYC PLF has seen a slackening in contributions. More than ever before, your contribution, or resisted war taxes can make a difference in the lives of our local communities. No amount is too small.