...so i arrived at the employment center just at 9:30. i was very excited about the action that this man was taking and wanted to come down in support. he had envelopes filled with ten dollar bills and a letter explaining why he was doing what he was doing. (see end of post for a copy of his letter) the main point was that he did not support the government using tax money to pay for killing people.
at first we all went inside and he approached those who were sitting down at the work stations. some seemed a bit confused at first, but everyone took an envelope.
there was also a person there who was handing out 1040WAR forms. the form looked very similar to a 1040 or 1040EZ at first glance, but this one had a few special features. the heading along the top of the form read "Your Tax Contribution to Death, Misery and Destruction". it then went on to break down the percentages of where tax payers dollars actually go to, for example:
% of discretionary budget spent on health care-2003.....6.4%
% of discretionary budget spent on education-2003.......6.8%
% of discretionary budget spent on war-2003...................51.6%
Total cost of US support of Israel (including direct aid, rescue costs of 1973, collateral costs, ad hoc costs, energy dependence, "defense" of Persian Gulf)...........................................................................$1,688 trillion
after about 10 minutes of standing inside of the employment center, offering money to people as they came through the door, everyone was told to leave. a woman working at the center said that she didn't understand what we were all doing there, but whatever it was, it was causing a disturbance and we needed to move outside.
so we moved outside. there were still envelopes to hand out, so that's just what this war tax resister did (avoiding the upper class white males with grande lattes from starbucks and leather jackets of course).
overall it was a really great action. supporters and indymedia were on the scene and many folks walked away with ten bucks and a smile. there were a few who just couldn't be convinced to take free money, but what can ya do?
this event was sponsered by the War Tax Resisters League. if you want to know more about how you can stop YOUR tax dollars from going towards war funding, check out their website:
Here's a copy of the letter that was inside of the envelopes along with the money:
15 April 03
To Whom It May Concer:
Enclosed is a ten-dollar bill, one fifty-fifth of the $550 I owe on my federal tax return. As you may know, 54% of your income tax dollar pays for killing. Five-hundred and fifty dollars is the 40% left on my bill that has not already been paid through withholding.
Please understand that the "Department of Defense" budget is $380,000,000,000 for 2003-nearly more than the entire world spends on war in any given year. Other monies-to the CIA, DOE and other government agencies also pay for the express purpose of killing people. In the meantime, Oregonians are struggling to support the work of peace: good schools, full employment, and support for the needy.
A tiny fraction of this $380,000,000,000 could solve all the ills of the state of Oregon. The entirety of it could solve the energy crisis, feed every starving individual and create the kind of world relationships that ensure safety for every citizen of our planet.
Please take this money with some thought as to its peaceful use. Please be conscious of your part in working to support a just and peaceful world.
Eric John Shaw