Over the course of February and March 1960, in the weeks following Eroseanna “Sis” Robinson’s arrest for war tax resistance, people across the United States in the Peacemaker movement expressed their solidarity with Robinson and took action to find justice for her: they protested outside the IRS offices in three major cities, wrote to the ruling judge appealing for leniency, and some became war tax resisters themselves if they weren’t already. And while other publications covered her story, Sis Robinson was an active member of the Peacemakers, and that organization’s newsletter covered her story the closest.
(See our previous posts to learn more about Eroseanna Robinson and her arrest:
- Eroseanna Robinson: Black Olympic Athlete, Desegregationist, War Tax Resister
- "This is Why Eroseanna Robinson Refuses to Pay Taxes", 1960)
Indeed, the articles and notices we have now have become a part of the story itself: how an independent newsletter created such a wide-ranging community of supporters for Sis Robinson in multiple cities so quickly, and the success of their efforts. This week, we see that Robinson’s story from previous issues had generated greater interest in the finer details of war tax resistance. On page 2 of the March 5, 1960 issue, the editors included three specific methods to resist supporting war through income taxes. We also see that people answered the earlier calls the Peacemaker had made for solidarity actions. At least one other Peacemaker, Karl Meyer, even caused a bit of “good trouble” in protest, drawing even more attention to the case. But it wasn’t just individuals who were making and distributing leaflets about Robinson’s case; other local groups joined in the work of educating the public, like the committee from the Washington Park Forum mentioned in the “Chicagoans Support” story. This combination of small local organizations active in their own communities, audacious individuals willing to take a stand, and a broad national movement invested in widely sharing these stories and calls to action — altogether made a real difference to Sis Robinson as she continued to resist cooperation with the authorities.
(Click the images below to download the PDF version of the original clippings)
Visit the War Resisters League (WRL) page on war tax resistance to get an overview explanation of the movement. The WRL website is also where you can find the pie chart of federal income tax distribution, as well: https://www.warresisters.org/war-tax-resistance
Learn more about war tax resistance, including how to resist war taxes yourself, and get involved in today’s national war tax resistance movement at the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee website: https://nwtrcc.org/
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“Chicagoans Support Sis Robinson.” The Peacemaker. 26 March 1960, Volume 13, Number 4. Page 3-4.
“Ideas for Action.” The Peacemaker. 5 March 1960, Volume 13, Number 4. Page 1.
“Nonpayment of War Taxes and Nonfiling of Returns.” “Unity with Sis Robinson in Three Cities.” “Literature on Sis Robinson.” “Militant Unity with the Best.” The Peacemaker. 5 March 1960, Volume 13, Number 4. Page 2.
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