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

Preface

(pdf version in A4 format)

The Tenth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns has been a wonderful experience. A group of 73 peace activists from 13 countries gathered in the beautiful conference center Maison Notre-Dame du chant d'oiseau (‘Our Lady of the Bird's Song’) in Brussels-Woluwe, Belgium, on July 8-11, 2004.

We dealt with many topics that have become standard during the history of the conferences since 1986 as can be seen from the country reports, the workshops, and the panel discussion Focus, Variety, Change about the past and future of our movements. However, some new developments were visible as well. First there is the insertion of our WTR-PTC movements in the wider struggle for justice and peace that recently has been going on in the movement for a global justice (le mouvement altéromondialiste). Secondly, although various people from the South have participated in previous conferences from the third conference in 1990 on, they received more explicit attention this time, particularly in a panel Voices from the South and in the follow-up action toward Colombia.

Several persons from the South wished to come, but in spite of many phone calls, e-mails, faxes, and letters to embassies, they were unable to obtain a visa (on time). We specifically mention Lynnet Martin (Bangladesh), Secundus Sey (Ghana), Joshi Kanhaiya Prasad (Nepal), who want to stay in touch with the international peace tax movement.

The success of the conference is due to the collaboration and endeavour of all participants and others who helped to make this conference happen. We specifically mention the key-note speaker John Van Daele, the various panelists, the facilitators and reporters of the workshops, the various national movements sending in their country reports, the full-time volunteer interpreters Konrad Borst and Yan-Christoph Pelz as well as a group of part-time interpreters invited by Burkhard Doempke, Marya Nijland for the banner for this and coming conferences, the staff of the conference center, and last but not least our volunteers Jan Hellebaut, Koen Moens, Hilde Mariën, Anja Nuttin, and Januario Tavares Silva.

Such a conference also is a financial enterprise. It succeeded thanks to the financial efforts of the participants (travel, lodging and meals, conference fee, contributions to the travel fund). We also received financial help from Netzwerk Friedenssteuer with a grant coming form the Ninth Conference in Germany; from a Political Evening Prayer in Munich; from the Canadian Développement et paix; and from The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (United Kingdom). For the details we refer to the financial report (1.7).

We wish you a stimulating reading of this report. This conference invites you to new ideas, challenges, tasks. You will find requests, some follow-up committees, or your own name for some task or another. Since electronic communication has made things easier, we should be able to maintain good contacts with WTR's, PTC's, and other allies all over the world in order to build a just and peaceful world without war. 

See you at the Eleventh International Conference!

Dirk Panhuis, Conference coordinator (email: cpti@cpti.ws)

Aktie Vredesbelasting (VRAK), Patriottenstraat 27, 2600 Antwerpen, Belgium

vrak@advalvas.be

http://surf.to.vrak {www.vrak.be 11/2007 -webweaver}