Work for Peace.
Stop Paying for War.

YouTube video (9:31 min) by Raksid, Dec 10, 2007. 
For Conscience Canada, November 7, 2011
This page = http://spirit-wrestlers.com/CC/Video.html

Transcript


[Vintage war film]

[Narration]


Bruna Nota, Conscience Canada.
"War has been such a tremendously difficult par of my life that I want to do everything I can for others not to suffer through war."


Joshua Goldberg, Activist.
"My father was a draft resister who came to Canada during the Vietnam War and then helped others to come to Canada as well from the United States. So for me the decision to withdrawal the military portion of my taxes was in someways reminiscent of my father's decision not to fight."


Justice Thomas Berger, Lawyer.
"The paramountcy of conscience is what we are really talking about, for people to be able to direct their taxes toward turn events of war. There's a real message there."


Dr. Jane Pritchard, Christian Peacemaker Teams.
"I have three sons, and i think my husband and I feel as parents we didn't bring children into the world to be agents of destruction. Do you want to be part of reconstructing a new dream?"


Bill Siksay, MP Burnaby-Douglas.
"I think there's a lot of soul searching in Canada right now, about our participation in militarism. it's not a Bill 6A issue, it's not a MBP issue. It's an issue around people's conscience, and people's attempt to be very clear about militarism in Canada."


Hon. Jean Agustine, Member of Parliament 1993-2006.
"We just can't have young people dying, and in misery, and the hurt and the pain. What kind of world and what kind of future, and where are we heading, if we sit back and not do something?  


Conscience Canada Presents : Work for Peace. Stop Paying for War.

[Narration]

Bruna Nota, Conscience Canada.
"I work as a volunteer with Conscience Canada which is a pan-Canadian organization that started in the late 70s to allow for people to object to paying for others to do the dirty work of going to war for them, to divert their taxes into a conscientious objection peace fund.

[Text]

"We are the Canadian Forces and our job is to be able to kill people." General Rick Hillier, Canadian Forces.

Canada ranked 6th largest global arms exporter in 2004.

The 2005 federal budget added $12.8 billion in military spending over the next five years. The Conservatives to add another $5.3 billion.

2,300 Canadian troops in Afghanistan involved in counter-terrorism mission.

Once a top 10 contributor of soldiers to UN peacekeeping, today there are less than 60 Canadians in 60,000 UN peacekeepers worldwide.

Annual global military spending has surpassed 1 trillion dollars.

[Narration]

Joshua Goldberg, Activist.
"I see my decision to  not pay military taxes as my refusal to participate in supporting war. If I don't believe in war and if I am not willing to actually fight in a war then it's morally and ethically wrong for me to pay to others to have to go to that."

Dr. Jane Pritchard, Christian Peacemaker Teams.
"I realized that my money was being drafted to do precisely the things I was working against. As a parent, as a physician, where I am trying to preserve life, to think that money that I earn would be used to make tanks, to make land mines, to destroy other people, is an  athma. Many people would say that military strength is often justified, is often the only option. Personally I think we are selling our selves short as human beings because we haven't dared to visualize what the other responses could be, which in fact would require far more of us than giving our taxes to fund somebody else to do it.

[Text]

War of 1812 — Some Quakers were jailed for refusing to pay Military Service Exemption tax.

1814 — Government of Upper Canada allows COs to redirect their militia taxes to public works.

1873-1899 — Military service exemption for Doukhobors, Mennonites and Quakers.

1914-1919 — 'Historic peace church' members conscripted for non-combatant duty in military.

1914-1919 — Many refused and were imprisoned. many conscientious objectors were disenfranchised.

1914-1919 — Mennonites, objecting to by war bonds, were able to have special non-interest bearing bonds made available to pay for relief work only.

1939-1945 — Special bonds were offered which would be used for civilian relief only.

1939-1945 — 10,000 Conscientious Objectors in Canada
 
[Narration]

Bruna Nota, Conscience Canada.
"I think that if our conscience is really violated by being obliged to pay for violence, it is our duty to object to paying those taxes."

Joshua Goldberg, Activist.
"When I hear that there was an option to withdrawal my taxes, the military portion of my tax money, that was really exciting to me because it was something that I could do that wouldn't leave me feeling that oh it's so big, I'm powerless, there's nothing I could do."

[Text]

1978 — A shift towards war tax resistance inspired the creation of Conscience Canada.

1983-1990 — Conscience Canada incorporated to:
> Promote a change in law giving Canadians the right to conscientiously object to military taxation.
> Defend freedom of conscience.
> Support conscientious objection to military taxation.

Conscience Canada: supports legal test case against forced payment of taxes for military purposes.

Justice Thomas Berger: Lawyer for the war tax objector states,
"We are in an era in which citizens' taxes, rather than their bodies, are conscripted".

Today, Private member bills continue to be introduced.

The Struggle continues.

[Narration]

Bill Siksay, MP Burnaby-Douglas.
"I think the benefits of a conscientious objection act would be that it would give people of conscientious an option around their tax dollars and how they're spent. An option to say that they don't want their tax money going to military option.

Joshua Goldberg, Activist.
"This isn't a way to avoid paying tax. We and to pay tax. We want to contribute, and feel responsible to contribute to the collective good. It's just that we don't want it to go to the military. So for me finding about Conscience Canada was a structure that would allow me to do some think I wanted to do myself anyway, but I really didn't know how to do. So that was very exciting for me. Well its actually very easy, because Conscience Canada makes it very easy for people to do. So once a year while I'm doing my taxes, I just set aside the percentage, it's around 8% that goes to the military, and divert it to the Conscience Canada Peace Fund. I write a check and I send it to Conscience Canada and they put it in their Peace Tax Trust Fund, and hold it until the government sets up an option for people who don't want ot support the military, to have out taxes go to peace."

[Text]

Tax presently collected by Conscience Canada and put in trust will be returned to the individual if requested.

Ultimately the Peace Tax Fund will be used for peace-building initiatives.

[Narration]

Justice Thomas Berger, Lawyer.
"I think all of us have an interest in making sure there's exploration of alternatives to war."

Joshua Goldberg, Activist.
"Part of it is about changing our current failure of the imagination. So when there is a problem, people don't know what do to.  The solution: well we should probably send troops."

Hon. Jean Agustine, Member of Parliament 1993-2006.
"Maybe we should be looking to see how we could put teams together to talk mediation, resolution, and not say let's build more military might."

Dr. Jane Pritchard, Christian Peacemaker Teams.
"How did we ever fall into the trap of thinking that a military response was going to defend us?  When Rwanda took place, if there had been a standing of a 100,000 people who are trained and skilled in non-violent techniques, that could really throw a wrench into the machinery of evil, in a way that soldiers armed with guns can not do. And so we haven't tried it. That's the vision though."

[Text.]

A large, well-trained, international nonviolent peace force.

Reducing the arms trade.

Coordinated, multinational networks supporting human rights,
Mediation and conflict resolution,
Strengthening the United Nations,
Raising awareness of possibilities for a non-violent world.

[Narration]

Bruna Nota, Conscience Canada.
"We need to change policy. We need to change the legislation. We need to change opinion."

Hon. Jean Agustine, Member of Parliament 1993-2006.
"Politics is a team sport, and how many people ae supporting this. So apart from the mover and seconder, were else is there a critical mass of members who would be supporting this?  

Bill Siksay, MP Burnaby-Douglas.
"If there is a critical mass of people who are supporting that option, then its going to raise questions about how we spend government money generally, and maybe help us make changes to those policies that I thnk exhibit the values of our society in a more appropriate way.

Joshua Goldberg, Activist.
"But knowing that there are many other people who at the same time of year as me are doing the exactly same thing as me helps me feel that it is an action that has a potential to have a really positive impact."

Bruna Nota, Conscience Canada.
"The possible is only limited by our imagination. So, it is possible"

[Text.]

Join us and have your taxes work for peace.

www.consciencecanada.ca

Spirit-Wrestlers.com