- October 15 - Renowned for 2 year tree-sit, activist/author Julia Butterfly Hill
announces her refusal to pay taxes that support war and government
What: Press Conference to announce the redirection of over
$150,000 in federal
taxes away from the US government and into various not-for-profit
social service and environmental organizations.
When: Wednesday, October15th, 2003, 12:00 Noon
Where: Federal Building, San Francisco
450 Golden Gate @ Polk, Lower Plaza Area
Why: To speak out and stand up against the devastating effects
of the US led war machine.
Statement of Julia Butterfly Hill:
The annual US military spending far exceeds that of China, Iraq,
Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Libya combined. Yet, for all this
spending, we as a nation are not safer, only more brutal. We live in
a time of profoundly devastating wara war that threatens our
democracy, human rights, free speech, education, health care, social
security, environment and of course, there is the murdering of an
unknown tens of thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq
who we dare to marginalize as casualties.
United States soldiers are being killed nearly every day. And what
is this war for? To protect the big-money, oil interests of the
elite. Now the Bush Administration is demanding $87 BILLION DOLLARS
($87,000,000,000) from the US citizens to rebuild a country that was
destroyed by our bombs on the exaggerated pretense of Iraq's alleged
possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Meanwhile, the greatest accumulations of weapons of mass destruction
exist right herein the United States. These weapons of death are
funded by US citizens' tax dollars stolen from the basic necessities
that better our society such as social services, education, health
care and the safeguarding of human rights and our environment. For
example, under the Bush tax cuts that help to provide for war
funding, Medicaid benefits are cut by $93 billion; Food Stamps will
be cut by $13 billion; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will
be cut by $8 billion and in a move that reminds us who truly benefits
from war and who loses, $14.6 billion is being cut from benefits for
Veterans, including money for disabilities.
Furthermore, our tax dollars are not only being spent to build the
largest death machine humankind has ever known, but also the largest
prison industrial complex in the world. We seem to be able to come
up with endless billions for war, yet we have children without
textbooks in schools that are falling apart, where it is
statistically more likely for a child of color to end up in prison
than to get into college, where the laws that protect air and water
quality and biodiversity are being destroyed, and health services are
not equally accessible to all citizens as is the case in every other
civilized nation on earth.
I was raised by Christian parents who taught me about the Ten
Commandments, the first of which is 'Thou Shall Not Kill'. Paying for
the murder of innocent people with my tax dollars is something that I
cannot do in good conscience. It goes against every moral fiber of
my being to support this cycle of uncontrolled madness, especially at
the expense of such critical human necessities.
I find it especially disturbing to see the Bush Administration
having blatant ties to convicted corporate criminals such as
Haliburton, which formed 35 offshore tax shelters when Vice President
Dick Cheney was CEO. While Haliburton has been avoiding paying
untold millions of dollars in federal taxes, it was awarded a closed- door, no-bid contract from the Bush Administration to secure the oil
supply of Iraq. Unfortunately, this is just one example of the many
instances where a corrupt system allows politically connected, mega- corporations to avoid paying taxes while the working class is forced
to pay subsidies for big business with their hard-earned tax
Thousands of others before me have taken this stand. I am not
avoiding paying taxes. I have thought through this very carefully,
and with a clear mind and heart I am humanely re-directing my tax
payments to where they belong, because our current federal government
refuses to do so.