Second International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns

Vierhouten, the Netherlands 1988

Action forms after the INF Treaty

Before the INF Treaty there were 5,72 actions in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. After the signing of the treaty the Dutch BWD concluded the 5,72 action with a lot of publicity.

What is the result of the INF Treaty?

Although there were no specific actions against cruise missiles in the USA and England the treaty did have effect on the peace movements. It influenced the thought of people. And it had its influence on the media: before the treaty the media were in favour of the peace movement; after the treaty the attention of the media diminished. But, in fact, the military situation has not changed.

The INF Treaty has resulted in a new orientation, which is more strongly linked to social matters and total disarmament.

The new action in Germany, developed after the INF Treaty, knows three steps:

  1. Past stickers on coins
  2. Send a cheque, on which you state your objections to paying for military purposes
    1. Send a cheque to announce the withholding
    2. Withhold DM 3,20 (or a multiple of that amount), which is the amount spend on military purposes per person per day. The money is diverted to a peace project
    3. Withhold 25% on income tax.

There is also an action which deals with the remaining 97% percent of nuclear weapons, but they don't prefer this action, because the percentage is inconstant.

The action has been launched 6 weeks ago, so there has not been a lot of response yet.

In the Netherlands the BWD is in the process of reflection.

There are several new proposals. The most important one is an action based on the Thorsson report of the UN, which connects disarmament with development in the third world countries. The action has an international character, but is also aimed at the new forms of poverty in the Netherlands itself. For the time being the old action forms will be maintained.

England maintains their old action forms as well. In their actions they connect military spending with the National Health Service.

In April 1989 there will be a big demonstration in the US with a lot of attention for war tax resistance. In 1990 they plan to organise a large national action.

The movement in Italy has asked the Vatican to support clergyman in their war tax actions.

Conclusion:

The new actions, as mentioned above, are not specifically aimed at parts of the arms race, like the cruise missiles, but are aimed at the entire armament. A connection between disarmament on one hand and development in the third world and in different parts of our own societies are being made.