Wednesday, November 4, 2009

National War Tax Resistance Gathering (+ poetry!)

National War Tax Resistance Gathering and
Coordinating Committee Meeting
6:30pm FRIDAY, Nov 6 – noon Sunday, Nov 8, 2009

The Nehemiah Center —
6515 Bridge Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio
(Near west side of Cleveland at West 65th and Bridge Ave.)

Deconstruct War
Use tax dollars to CONSTRUCT PEACE
A mini-conference about cutting off war’s money supply and funding life-affirming programs. The weekend begins with dinner at 6:30 pm Friday with a program at 7:30 pm. All are welcome to Sunday NWTRCC business meeting, 9 am - Noon

Hosted by Dorothy Day Peace Tax Fund, Cleveland Catholic Worker, the Cleveland Nonviolence Network, and the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC)

The program includes presentations about war tax resistance and redirecting tax dollars to peace,
about all of our work against war and creating the world we hope to see. NWTRCC is holding its business meeting in Cleveland on Sunday morning, November 8 (open to all). Along with local activists, people from around the country who refuse to pay for war will participate in the mini-conference.

Come for the whole weekend or one session

Representatives of war tax resistance (WTR) groups from around the country will attend and join local war resisters as presenters and facilitators for panels, group discussions, and workshops. Program planning is in progress. Please check the website or call for updated information.


5 pm: Arrival, Registration,

6:30 pm: Dinner

7:30 pm: “Deconstruct War / Construct Peace” Building the world we want to see. How does our war tax resistance influence change? Facilitated by Cleveland hosts Maria Smith and Charlie Hurst, including a poetry project to explore our resistance with Philip Metres.

Phil Metres is the author of numerous books, including To See the Earth (poetry, 2008), Come Together: Imagine Peace (anthology of peace poems, 2008), Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (criticism, 2007), and Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Selected Poems of Lev Rubinstein (2004). His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry. He teaches literature and creative writing at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Saturday, Nov 7

8 am: Breakfast

9 am: Welcome, Introductions, and Logistics

9:15 am: Discussion

NWTRCC & the War Tax Resistance (WTR) Movement - Who we are, What we do, Where are we going?
Discussion of NWTRCC network and WTR activity in general, Program update on War Tax Boycott and other NWTCC activities. Open discussion of ideas for development of our efforts and/or changes needed. (Large and small group)

10:15 - Break

10:30 - Film Showing

"Death and Taxes" - New 30-minute (approx) film introduces the basics of war tax resistance. View and comment on NWTRCC's nearly completed film showing many faces of resistance. Hear from some of the resisters who appear in the film (Juanita Nelson, David Waters, Bill Ramsey, Ruth Benn) and time to follow up with some personal stories of resistance.

Noon: Lunch

1:15 pm - Panel and Discussion

"Making Connections/Working Together - WTR and the wider peace movement" With Mike Ferner, President, Veterans for Peace; Sr. Diane Pinchot, OSU, artist and School of Americas Watch defendant; Phil Althouse, attorney and election observer in El Salvador.

1:45 - Small group discussions with each of the presenters to talk more in-depth on their presentation and area of work.

2:45 - Break

3:00 - Concurrent Workshops:

WTR 101: Basic introduction and getting started. Led by long-time war tax resisters.

WTR Questions and Answers for experienced resisters and counselors, with Ruth Benn, NWTRCC Coordinator

4:15 - Break

4:30 - Discussion: Deconstruct War / Construct Peace reprise - From our previous sessions, are there some priorities that emerged and that we should develop in our ongoing work?

Concurrent: Time for NWTRCC committees and special interest groups to meet - War Tax Boycott, Fundraising, Peace Tax Fund follow-up, WTR Penalty Fund/assistance programs

6:00 pm - Dinner

7:00 pm: Evening program to be announced

Sunday, Nov 8:

9:00 am - noon: NWTRCC Business Meeting
Agenda includes continuing work on boycott and video; priorities for coming year; fundraising and annual budget; literature updates and new resource ideas. All welcome!

1:30 pm - 5:30 pm WTR Counselor’s Training
Training for new and experienced counselors. Review information, techniques, and problems that might occur during a counseling session.


Location: The Nehemiah Center, 6515 Bridge Ave., corner of Bridge and West 65th St., Cleveland, OH, Hosted by Dorothy Day Peace Tax Fund, Cleveland Catholic Worker, the Cleveland Nonviolence Network, and the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC).

Travel: Cleveland is served by buses, Amtrak, and flights to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). There is public transportation into the city from the airport. We will do our best to help with arrangements or connect people for shared rides.

Housing: Housing is at Nehemiah Center,, with comfortable bunk beds. All those staying at Nehemiah are asked to bring their own bedding/sleeping bag, pillow, towels, and toiletries.

Meals: The program begins with dinner on Friday at 6:30 pm, and ends with lunch on Sunday (all welcome for the Sunday NWTRCC business meeting). Meals are vegetarian with vegan options. You may be asked to help with meal prep or serving.

Costs: $15 registration fee in advance, plus $25 per night for housing and meals at Nehemiah; $25 for one day meals/no housing. Pay what you can. Scholarships will be made available as needed, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Local contact: Charles Hurst and Maria Smith 216-241-6594,

Further travel and program details will be on our website and sent to you in advance of the gathering.

Registration and Program Information
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC)
(800) 269-7464,

Fees and Registration Deadline

We are asking $15 registration fee for the weekend, or donations if you are attending part of the time. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, although a collection may be taken up during the weekend if costs have not been covered. Additional donations in advance will help us house everyone at Nehemiah Center.

Enclosed is (please make checks payable to NWTRCC):

$15 registration fee, and,
$25 per night housing and meals, or,
$25 one day meals only, no housing


E. J. McAdams said...


I hope you will tell us more about the poetry project to help us understand our resistance. It is enticing enough that I want to know more and abstract enough that I don't what the hell you did.


Philip Metres said...

E.J., maybe I should do a post on it...but I led the group in a "warm-up" exercise as part of the conference on how to become a war tax resister. I read two poems from COME TOGETHER ("The Story So Far" and "Jerusalem") and invited them to do two free-writes: 1) describe an image or moment of rupture or violence that you experienced or witnessed that has always stayed with you, that you carry with you, that motivates your war resistance; 2) describe an image or moment of resistance, reconciliation, peacemaking, healing, courage that gives you hope in dark times. Then, with a chorus, we shared our poem-moments. The first chorus was "For we have seen..." and the second "We work to build a world..." It was quite powerful, as a testament to individual experience and collective labor.

E. J. McAdams said...

That sounds amazing!! Did anyone video-tape it? I would love to see the chorus. It sounds like a very powerful experience. I love the way you have found a role for poetry applicable to the war tax resister and that the war tax resister group has seen the value of the poet in their work. You should definitely write about it - there could be no better venue than Behind the Lines!!

Philip Metres said...

Thanks for the encouragement, E.J. It was not taped, but I've gathered the lines themselves, and hope to do a page version to give to the conferees. More later.

人妻 said...


Term Papers said...

I'm actually glad to see all this stuff, to see that this world offers creativity and ideas other than what my lonesome small town provides.

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恋愛 said...

初めましていずみって言います☆1年半以上恋してません…(/∇≦\)元彼と付き合ってた時にあんまり会えなくて恋愛してた感じがなかった(;‾ ‾)それから臆病になってたけど長いこと彼がいないからそろそろホンキで恋したいなーなんて思ってますo(^-^o)けっこう天然入ってるから大人で引っ張ってくれる人で年上の人と仲良くしたいです☆気になった人はメールしてね