Horses on a Trot?

Almost a month ago I question a "newly-launched campaign of phone tax resistance": in a post called "Beating Dead Horses"
Robert Randall, a dear friend who I haven't seen in far too long, wrote in last night explaining how the new campaign came about and some of its goals.
bq. Hi, Martin.
   I'm all for coming up with new tactics, and I think a lot of people have
been doing just that. This doesn't mean, though, that we have to leave old
tactics behind if they can serve us. Nor should we assume that old tactics
are not new tactics for some.
   Interestingly, at its Nov. 2002 meeting, the National War Tax Resistance
Coordinating Committee did in fact decide to shelve a "Hang Up On the SOA"
flyer because the ease of telephone tax resistance was no longer there: with
the plethora of new phone companies and the unwillingness of the FCC to
apply its old rulings on the AT&T tariff to other companies, we felt that it
would be inaccurate to promote phone tax refusal as an easy, low-risk form
of removing support for war.
   Now, though, we have the possibility, through a large phone tax
redirection campaign and the Internet, to learn and gather together the
how-to-do-it information on all these different phone services. It may take
time, but it is far from impossible. In the process, a lot of educating can
be done, both of the public and of phone company employees. ease of doing
it can rise and risk can be lowered.
   What I like about the Hang Up On War campaign ( is
that it did not originate with a war tax organization. It comes from the
iraq peace Pledge, made up of a number of peace groups, old and new. NWTRCC is available to service the campaign, but the fact that "mainline" peace
groups are promoting wtr is something which, as you are aware, those of us
who are long-time war tax converters have long desired. While support for
this campaign was not unanimous at our recent NWTRCC meeting in Chicago, I,
for one, felt it a great opportunity to get people started toward less
symbolic, real war tax redirection.
   True, the federal excise tax on phone service is no more directly
linked to war than the federal income tax, but it is also no less. One
strategy which I favor is to provide as many avenues of ingress to resisting
war as possible. This is one. We can certainly come up with others, and
with better ones, but I see no benefit in disparaging what some are doing
for peace. For many people, phone tax resistance is a new tactic and a big
step. Let's applaud what I see as a step forward, into any kind of
resistance, for groups which have often stopped short of such things, and
work with them to keep moving ever forward. I trust you will be suggesting
to where that might be.
 peace and hope,
 Robert Randall

Comments are closed.