Eighth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Washington, DC USA 2000

Eighth International Conference Business Meeting

Conscience and Peace Tax International

Sunday, July 9, 2000 10:45-Noon

Catholic University, Washington, DC

David Bassett chaired the meeting. Susan Balzer scribed.

International Project

Bart Horeman, convener of the ad hoc committee appointed to recommend an international project (Bart Horeman, Ruth Benn, Arya Bhardwaj, Sergei Nikitin, Robert Randall) reported on the international project. Six proposals had been submitted. They were: Christian Peacemaker Teams; Burundi Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Center; Global Nonviolent Peace Force; Campaign of Conscience for the Iraqi People; Viet Nam Friendship Village Project; and the Ekta Parishad (Organization for Unity), Madhya Pradesh, India.

Since Arya Bhardwaj was on the project committee and had submitted a proposal, he abstained from voting on the project to be recommended. His proposal (Ekta Parishad) was selected for recommendation to the International Conference. The basic objective of the project is to help rehabilitate 200,000 people who were forcibly evicted from their land in India.

The Ekta Parishad project was accepted by consensus.

Carrying on our past practice, financial support and publicity given by persons attending the International Conference, and the groups they represent, will help this international peace project during the two-year period between 2000 and 2002. Refused taxes should be sent through a national organization to support the international project, instead of being sent by the individual tax refuser.

We requested that a report on the international project be forwarded from the project directors to the organizers of the 9th International Conference, in advance of that Conference.

For specific information concerning Ekta Parishad (including ways of making contributions), see the page 10 of this packet.

Press Release

Gerald Drewett, convener of the ad hoc committee appointed to prepare a draft of a press release (Gerald Drewett, Dirk Panhuis, Bill Ramsey, Martin Voigt), presented the draft of the press release.

Discussion followed, and revisions were made on the spot.

A paragraph was added about visits to the State Department, Pentagon, Capitol Hill, and the meeting with representatives of religious bodies which support peace tax legislation. Pedro Otaduy objected to mentioning the visit to the Pentagon because “it is not the place for peacemaking.” The paragraph was included in the final press release, but individuals were advised that they could add to or subtract from the release before presenting it to the media in their countries.

The phrase in the last paragraph, “Until this right is recognized in law,” was taken out, because not all war tax resisters will avail themselves of peace tax fund legislation.

Instead of “we support the constructive and peaceful actions of our governments,” the press release was changed to say, “We support the actions of persons and institutions who work through constructive and peaceful means.” This was to take into consideration anarchists' feelings toward governments.

The revised press release was accepted. (A copy follows this document). Copies were printed and distributed to persons present. It is intended that individuals will add their contact person's/organization's name and telephone number, and submit it to their local newspapers.

It was requested that the press release be e-mailed to attendees. Rather than take this approach, it was decided to place the press release on the website of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund (www.nonviolence.org/peacetax).

Next Conferences

Christa Voigt extended an invitation from the Netzwerk Friedenssteuer to host the ninth International Conference, to be held in Berlin on September 6-9, 2002.

She expressed a concern about the expense of translators.

The Conference accepted the invitation from the German delegates.

Dirk Panhuis of Belgium proposed that the 2004 International Conference be held in Belgium, hosted by the Flemish Peace Tax Campaign. He went on to list pros and cons of five meeting places and to solicit votes for the most favorable dates. Early July received the most votes.

Other business

Photos by Lana Lawrence will be available on a Kodak website. The low resolution pictures can be viewed, downloaded, and printed without further cost. For a photo reprint or to print your own photo using high resolution, the cost is $1.00 per photo. (Sign on to www.kodak.photonet.com; enter ‘e-mail address’, then enter ‘password’: la28900 [‘la’ as in ‘larry’. These photos will be available for viewing on the web only until December 12, 2000.)

Photos of Mr. Brown at the State Department may not be published.

Other photos may be published. Please credit Lana Lawrence for each one published.

Marian Franz will receive a full set of prints and digital images, and will notify conferees of the password to the Kodak website (see above).

David Demere acknowledged the videographer, David Sollenberger; interpreters, Konrad Borst and Karen Brandow; worship leader, Oscar Duenas; and volunteers Steve Kretzmann, Rachel Harrison, Ann Wilcox, Karla Jones, Tom Kierans, Jennifer Beall, and Joanna Reese.

David noted that persons from Nepal, Bangladesh, Guinea, and Ghana couldn't attend, because they were denied visas by the US State Department.

An offering of $300 was collected and given to Arya for the international project - Ekta Parishad.

Recognition of David Bassett

On Friday afternoon, David Bassett was given a framed print in recognition of his long-term commitment to the Peace Tax Fund Bill (US). (The actual wording of what is typed below the image is below on the left.) The original Peace Tax Campaign started in the living room of David and his wife Miyoko in 1971. David has been involved with it ever since. Thank you!, David, for your vision, persistence and dedication!

To Dr. David R. Bassett, in grateful appreciation for founding the Peace Tax movement and for his persistent, faithful, purposeful efforts in furtherance of peace and the freedom of conscience. Presented by the Eighth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns, July 2000.