Tenth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Brussels, Belgium 2004

Final statement

fran├žais

2.8

We meet in a time of a globalisation of violence. For example the war in Iraq has led to a huge increase in military spending - probably never before have countries like the US and the UK spent so much on the military in so short a time, and they are dragging other countries associated with the war with them into this bottomless pit. The blind urge to go to war at any cost has put a severe strain on the whole international system. In Europe we see a rapid and dramatic slide towards militarization of the European Union. From India we are reminded of the nuclear sword of Damocles hanging over 1 billion people in India and Pakistan - and the rest of the world. People are attacked by horrible acts of terrorism, and millions all over the world live in fear. The cold war has been replaced by hot war in too many countries, social structures are breaking down, and millions upon millions are forced to live in abject poverty and hopelessness.

It is with deep concern that we see these developments. But we affirm that this is not a time to despair: perhaps never before has war tax resistance and peace tax campaigning been so needed!

We know what is impossible: to stop terrorism by using military firepower.

Among many other country reports, we heard from the US how a member of Congress changed his mind just a few days after September 11th, from you better lie low now to keep talking, but explain it. We heard how all over that nation many people are actively opposing war, and slowly also making the link that it is being paid for by their taxes. From Ghana we heard how their country was the only one of all it's neighbours where there was no fighting, and were reminded that when 2 parties fight, it is the children and women that get hurt most. From Colombia we heard how their country is being torn apart by violence and is being fully militarised by outsiders, and the horrible social consequences of this. But they don't have a problem with taxes for war - as not many people in Colombia have to pay taxes. Their problem is that the US taxpayers are paying for it!

No country is an island! The taxes paid in one nation now serve to militarise another. We reject this and resolve to globalise our spirit of co-operation and nonviolence. We reject the military approach to conflicts, and invite all people to let their conscience speak and join us in refusing to participate in and pay for war or any preparation for it in whatever form; to help get legal recognition of conscientious objection to military taxation; and to work together to implement a non-violent approach to conflicts.

Another world is possible! Our world has enough for everyone's needs ... let us stop wasting the money we desperately need to give human dignity to all on this planet!