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War Tax Resisters to celebrate resistance, peace, and hope on Tax Day

BRATTLEBORO—The Pioneer Valley War Tax Resisters will be at the Brattleboro Food Co-op, 2 Main St., on Monday, May 17 (the deadline for filing personal income tax forms this year) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

According to a news release, group members will be “calling for a stop to the United States’ endless wars on people and the environment, which are funded by misappropriating tax dollars towards military and military-related spending.”

“Those present will also be celebrating how tax resistance can be a useful tool for individuals and groups looking to live lives more aligned with their values while creating a more peaceful and just world for all,” the organization writes.

“I want to live my values, which includes nonviolence,” said Lindsey Britt of Brattleboro. “Paying for destruction at home and abroad doesn’t fit into that, so I live more simply and refuse to pay a portion of my taxes.”

Britt and other people in southeast Vermont are, in the words of the tax-resister group, “openly refusing to be complicit in their government’s deadly and destructive path by sending letters to their congressional delegates, contributing to war tax resister penalty funds, living simply to lower their taxes, and/or refusing to pay a portion of (even $10 makes a difference) or all of their taxes.”

They cited the proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2022, which “continues to take our country in the wrong direction by dedicating 48 percent ($1.7 trillion) of current federal spending to past and present military expenses.”

The group said that U.S. weaponry “is used to not only kill people in places like Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan, but it is also employed to harm, intimidate, and kill citizens, especially people of color, in the United States.”

They charge that since Sept. 11, 2001, more than $1.6 billion of military equipment has been transferred to police departments under the Department of Defense Law Enforcement Support Office’s surplus equipment (“1033”) program.

Additionally, they said, “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 [if it] does not address the military budget.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #612 (Wednesday, May 12, 2021). This story appeared on page B3.

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