This site last updated March 30, 2012.
IRS Invaded

Keith Koenigstein doing WTR counseling (foreground); Ed Hedemann talking to unseen IRS public relations officer
(Photo by Grace Hedemann)

irs invaded

by Ed Hedemann

“We stayed for two or three hours. It was great. Lots of curious people, interested in our material, amazed we were allowed in, sometimes mistaking us for IRS employees. We got a few hostile [shouts of] go back to Russia, this is public property, you shouldn’t be allowed in here.”

Brad Lyttle and I paid a visit to the public affairs officer (Milt Waltman) and assistant to the Director of the Manhattan area IRS (110 Church St.) on March 27. The purpose of the visit was to make clear our desires to pass out literature the week preceding April 15 and the day of April 15, not really expecting that we’d succeed, but trying to set the tone for our action so that it would not appear that we were being disruptive.

As April 15 approached, we mustered a pathetic attempt to get volunteers willing to go in to pass out literature at the risk of getting arrested. There were just four of us: Steve Lahey (WTR), Jim Peck (WRL), Brad Lyttle, and myself. Not exactly the masses but enough to stir up a little action, if not to actually challenge the regulations that kept us out.

The rally began outside on schedule. Dave Dellinger was giving an impassioned speech when Steve Lahey went inside first. He exhausted his leaflets to the 200 or so people inside who were waiting for forms (usually the 60-day extension) and getting counseling. He came out for more, surprised he wasn’t hassled, went inside again but this time was gently escorted out by Milt Waltman.

Then we thought, this is it. Three of us went in again with a card table and box of literature. The guard at the entrance didn’t stop us, and we set up shop, put a sign on the wall behind us relating impeachment to WTR, and began passing out literature and counseling. Immediately, up walks Milt Waltman. We had a fast-paced, long discussion. We emphasized that disruption wasn’t our game, simply to discuss our ideas. He conceded when he saw we were firm, but the friendly atmosphere of our conversation and previous meeting is probably what made the difference.

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