Sep 16, 2008 06:23 PDT
We should throw into the mix, though, the resources it takes to get to
one of these meetings and the fact that many people in our circles are
choosing to fly less or not at all (and subtract 3 for refused visas -
just plain harder for folks to travel; the guy from India was planning
to come then something came up, etc.).
Although WTR was never really really strong in other countries, I did
sense at this meeting that there were fewer resisters from countries
other than the US and Britain than my first meeting way back 20 years
ago, which most attendees attributed to the quickness to collect/seize
in many countries. (Or are people being drawn into peace tax fund
efforts as a safer alternative?) However, although the German groups
seem to be all about peace tax fund efforts, they also told about
holding a vigil for a resister who was taken to court recently. And I
didn't write about War Resisters' International in Britain, which is a
case of an organization choosing to refuse to send on withheld taxes
voluntarily because that is the only way the staff can resist. Their
board had to make that decision. They await Inland Revenue's showing up
to sticker their equipment for seizure now, but they are also trying to
figure out how to make their resistance more public and convince other
orgs that they can do this (even though Inland Revenue usually collects,
it is at a point of forced payment).
Still, while I can see these good examples, I do find it discouraging
that in the times we are in there are not masses turning to this form of
resistance (or even to the peace movement in general for heaven's sake!)
in the US, if not elsewhere.....
From: Lawrence Rosenwald [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 10:36 PM
Subject: Re: [wtr-s] numbers
Sure, I agree with that, and I agree with Heather in being
"For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be; what is
well done is done forever."
-- H.D. Thoreau
committed to wtr. But the drop in numbers - if that's what it is -
still bothers me.
And though I agree with Heather about people's being "threatened and
un-educated," I'd say that they were threatened and uneducated back when
more people came to these conferences as well. WTR seems to me a very
important means of resistance, and I'm always puzzled a) when it doesn't
appeal to leftists, and b) still more when it ceases to appeal to
leftists it mattered to before.