NATIONWIDE - January 21 - A coalition of national peace groups honored the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today by stepping up a new campaign for a tax revolt to protest the Bush Administration's war in Iraq. CODEPINK: Women for Peace, the 2008 War Tax Boycott Campaign, United for Peace and Justice and a host of other anti-war organizations are calling on US taxpayers to commit what would be the largest act of nonviolent civil disobedience of its kind and refuse to fund the war with their tax dollars. The strategy calls for individuals to sign a pledge, and when the numbers swell to 100,000 signatories, the group would act together in a mass tax revolt.
In sharp contrast to Moveon.org and other anti-war groups, who according to a recent story in Politico.com are backing off their campaign to lobby Congress for funding cuts on war spending, CODEPINK and other groups are gathering pledges at www.dontbuybushswar.org
for what they believe is a powerful act of non-cooperation with the Bush Administration's actions in Iraq.
"Inspired by the vision of Dr. King, we want to purposely put a cog in the machine of war tax collection," said Jodie Evans, Co-Founder of CODEPINK. "We believe it will lead to a deepening of opposition as tens of thousands of people say, 'I can no longer in good conscience pay for these acts by my government.' The tradition of civil disobedience involves breaking a law in favor of a higher law. It is time to call for this powerful action."
While invoking the spirit of MLK, the groups also quoted former US Secretary of State Alexander Haig who in 1982 quipped: "Let them march all they want, as long as they continue to pay their taxes."
"We can march all we want, but if we cooperate with the funding of the war, we are culpable," Evans added.
Numbers are growing as more organizations join the campaign, and the website offers individuals multiple ways to participate and register their dissent. An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) allays many of the common fears and misconceptions about war tax reistance.
"I think that as a movement we can't expect the war to end and at the same time pay its bills every month. At some point the bill paying has to stop, and then the war will stop," said Bill Ramsey of the 2008 War Tax Boycott Coalition.
"World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew. Nonviolence is a good starting point." Martin Luther King, Jr. December 1964