Saturday, April 23, 2011

Asheville Area War Tax Resisters Steve Magin and Jim Stockwell
(holding banner) add a War Tax Resistance message to MoveOn rally 
Steve Magin lives simply in a mountain holler of Madison County in Western North Carolina where he helps local farmers and friends each tax season as a volunteer tax preparer.  He tries to pay his fair share.  This tax day, April 18, Steve made his annual trek into Asheville to the IRS office, checkbook in hand. He was ready to pay his federal taxes, with one condition:  He would not pay for weapons and war.
Once again, as has happened year after year in this endless war economy, Steve did not get the official assurance from the IRS employees that his tax monies would not be used to support militarism and war. And once again, Steve left the office without submitting his check and paying for war.
For more than a decade Steve Magin has made this courageous pilgrimage of conscience, and every year he redirects his resisted war taxes to support local and regional work promoting peace and social justice.
After his visit to the IRS office, Steve joined several other members of the WNC War Tax Resisters, WRL Asheville, and the New South Network of War Resisters at the Asheville Postoffice.  We distributed the latest copies of the War Crimes Times, a locally produced publication of Veterans for Peace.  The theme of the issue is:  "How is the War Economy Working for You," and includes a centerfold with the War Resisters' League tax pie chart. 
After many conversations with tax payers at the mailbox, we marched to a local park to join the gathering calling on corporations, particularly Bank of America, to pay their fair share.  We added our voice to the gathering with the message that true patriots must question where their tax dollars go, and take personal responsibility to withdraw support of war crimes.  The MoveOn gathering drew about 100 people, and we continued with distribution of the War Crimes Times, which most people readily accepted. 
Steve Magin will be speaking about his life as a war tax resister and the direct action he takes each tax day, as a panelist on April 30 at the Southeast Nonviolent Direct Action Trainers' Gathering in Asheville convened by the New South Network of War Resisters with support of N.C. Peace Action and the Nonviolent Action Community of Cascadia and numerous local organizations and donors.

For more information about ways and means of war tax resistance contact:  National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee and for inspiration, watch the video "Death and Taxes" – a 30-minute film about motivations, methods, risks, and rewards of war tax resistance, edited by Asheville's own Carlos Steward.

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