“Tax us More But Not for War”- Arrested at the US House

Yesterday, Leah and I participated in civil disobedience at the US Capitol to demand a permanent ceasefire and to say “no” to more tax dollars for war and border militarization. We joined youth from organizations like United We Dream, Rising Majority, IfNotNow and more to share a united message from young people in this country. Together, we staged a die-in at the office buildings of the US House of Representatives in order to disrupt work as usual and force them to pay attention.

“Stop the Genocide!” 

“Tax us More But Not for War!” 

The people of Gaza have been surviving – and dying – under a brutal and genocidal military campaign, funded by the US, and conducted with American missiles and armaments. The news coming out of Rafah has been among the most devastating to witness in many brutal months. Over a million people residing in Rafah – most of them already displaced – have nowhere else to flee to, as rockets continue to rain down. The staggering death toll is hard to truly fathom. Currently, around 30,000 beloved souls have been killed, with thousands more imminently at risk from disease and famine as well as shelling. Palestinians have been fighting against an unjust occupation for decades – an occupation that has been enabled and supported through abundant American political and military support and financial largesse. 

Meanwhile, the US is continuing its campaign of the militarization of our borders, empowering unaccountable border agents, and enacting inhumane asylum and deportation practices. Biden came into office with 15,000 people in detention, now his administration detains upwards of 37,000 people and his Supplemental requests funding for 50,000 more. 

The deal we’re trying to block would take away migrants’ human rights to asylum and send them back to dangerous circumstances (in large part created by US foreign policy) they struggled to leave behind.

Why is this our fight? Because tax dollars are paying for all of this. And when it comes to tax law, wealthy people are “directly affected-” philanthropy, low corporate tax rates and tax loop holes allow wealthy people to hoard money that rightfully belongs to the public.  

At RG, we’ve long held the belief that the wealthy should pay much higher taxes, that taxes are – although imperfect – the best mechanism for redistribution that we have, and the only one that puts resources into more democratic control at a national scale. RG’s goal is to promote voluntary redistribution as a tactic to win involuntary redistribution. Especially now, when the US is enabling the Israeli government to commit genocide and unconscionably militarizing its own borders, this belief that we should pay any taxes at all – let alone higher taxes –  is hard to hold. We want to spend some time exploring how we came to our position to “Tax Us More but Not for War.”

There are two dominating forces in US politics that would have us believe that taxes are bad. Conservatives think that all taxes (and the government) is stealing from the individual and actively want to keep money in the pockets of the wealthy for them to get richer. On the other hand, Liberals say they want to protect social programs, but in practice have overseen massive privatization of public goods, tax cuts to the rich, and deregulation of industry (in a word, neoliberalism).

The U.S. Capitol Police are seen making arrests inside the Cannon House Office Building. (Image from: Fox News)

These forces have worked together to cut taxes on the wealthy and rip open loopholes for tax evasion over the past 40 years, and although we’ve seen a dramatic relative decrease in public revenue, we’ve seen a bigger proportion of that money spent on war, prisons, and police. The cuts have happened in schools, infrastructure, and the social safety net, as the government transferred responsibility for the health and safety of the people who live here to nonprofits and charities, creating the non profit industrial complex. For more on this analysis, check out You Can’t Starve the Beast: Why We Fight for Higher Taxes on the Rich even though the US Govt Sucks.

We joined with other youth-led organizations yesterday in the US Capitol to say that young people with wealth and class privilege do NOT consent to our taxes being used to fund genocide and the militarization of our borders. We engage in movements because we know that only through our collective action will we build enough power to determine where we invest our collective resources – out of genocide and violence, and into our communities. 

In Solidarity,
Nora and Leah 


In addition to organizing, we’re asking members to continue to move money to 

Humanitarian aid and grassroots organizing in Gaza/Palestine 

  1. Grassroots International Emergency Fund for Palestine

Domestic organizing and advocacy

  1. US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
  2. IfNotNow
  3. Jewish Voice for Peace

Other organizations in our ecosystem who are working towards ceasefire or are funding critical humanitarian needs in Gaza/Palestine 

  1. Rawa: Creative Palestinian Communities Fund 
  2. Madre’s Emergency & Disaster Relief Fund
  3. Rising Majority 
  4. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance