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Time to bring the war money home,” read a cloth tabard worn by an Evanston volunteer in front of the post office on Davis Street on April 18. Braving a damp, cold wind, 40 volunteers from the North Shore Coalition for Peace, Justice and the Environment (NSPJE) and Evanston Neighbors for Peace distributed flyers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on “Tax Day 2011.”
Some of the volunteers wore tabards printed with peace slogans by Margaret Nelson as they handed out over a thousand flyers from the War Resisters League, telling citizens “Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes.” Dave Trippel volunteered printing costs for the project, and Rosalie Riegle recruited the volunteers.
On the scene too was “Sister Death,” an anti-war puppet, also by Margaret Nelson, and a banner from the American Friends Service Commission (AFSC) showing graphically the 59 percent of tax money that pays for present and past wars.
Dickelle Fonda carried a sign that read “Bring Our Tax Dollars Home.” The volunteers interacted with those mailing their income tax returns, urging people to ask Congress to re-direct taxes from war to peace.
Other tabard slogans were “The weapons we send to destroy the Mideast cost money we need to rebuild the Midwest,” “Keep Social Services, Cut Pentagon Spending” and “The Defense Industry Is Offensive.”
Several in the group talked excitedly of Congressional Representative Jan Shakowsky’s new bill to ensure fair taxation of corporate profits. The Evanston event coincided with hundreds of similar events throughout the country as citizen voices called on Congress to change the tax laws and de-fund the Pentagon – in other words, as yet another of the tabards read, “Keep Social Services, Cut Military Spending!”
Ms. Fonda also expressed the concern that such misadventures as the April 15 shooting at the Evanston McDonald’s of one teen by another are happening “in the larger context of … a culture of violence established … and sanctioned … at the highest levels in this country.” With “$2 billion each week” spent to “continue the wars and occupation of countries in the Middle East,” she asked why “we wonder why some of our young people are carrying guns and think this is acceptable.”