Report on individual and corporate war tax resistance
The 18 participants in this workshop began by reporting briefly on their individual war tax resistance and / or how their church or other organisation addressed issues of war tax resistance. Ursula Windsor, Christa Voigt and Roger Franklin detailed their stories of resistance, seizures, imprisonment, court cases, and some of the impacts of their actions which included media attention, the introduction of a peace tax bill in Parliament, and their resolve to continue the struggle. This storytelling fulfilled the first objective of the workshop: to see that we are not alone.
A free-flowing discussion followed in which the following information and opinions were presented:
Tax resistance may be based on political, religious, and other conscientious convictions. Women are never asked to refuse military service. They, along with men, should have the right (freedom of conscience) to refuse military taxation.
Individuals cannot always have their case heard in court, so corporate action is important. Churches can make statements supporting their members, but it would be 'un-Quakerly' to say all their members must not pay war taxes.
The redistribution of resisted war tax money is as important as the refusal. It is the way of making a positive emphasis.
A problem was brought up near the end of the workshop. Talking about experiences is not enough. We should decide on tactics to make war tax resistance a global movement.
More time for information about corporate tax resistance was needed. The action taken by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting was the only action detailed.