Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 428, July 29, 2007

"Focus on the goal of protecting freedom"

Taxes Pay for Torture


The Government is Bad,
But What Can We Do?

by Kat Kanning

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

We know the government is bad. The question always is, "What can we do about it?" The problem is so big. We start feeling like there isn't anything we can do alone. We band together in movements like the Free State Project ( to concentrate our efforts. Still the problem of the federal government is massive—they appear to have limitless resources (stolen from us) to harass, jail, rob, torture, kill. What is even 1000 dissenters against that?

Even with a crowd of people at your back, it still takes that first one to step forward, brave the pain of punishment, and defy the oppressive rule of the government mafia. Last year, Russell Kanning took one step forward. He called it "Tilting at windmills" emulating Don Quixote battling giants—maybe crazy, but admirable nonetheless. He stepped into the IRS office in Keene, NH to hand them a flyer saying the IRS was funding such things as torture, empire building, rounding up and spying on citizens, and ignoring their constitution—just like Hitler. The flyer suggested the IRS workers should quit their jobs. ( Before that day, Russell didn't know there was a regulation against handing out flyers inside government buildings, but a helpful man from Homeland Security was there to inform him of this. When Russell decided to go up to the IRS with his flyer anyway, he was arrested, and then released. He went back to the IRS to try again, and was arrested again. After he didn't show up for court the next day, Federal Marshals came to our house, threw him to the ground and hauled him to court. He was convicted of being disobedient and held in maximum security for three weeks waiting for sentencing. At that point, they decided they weren't going to get any money out of him and sentenced him to time served.

Dave Ridley, inspired by what Russell had done, began visiting IRS offices with a sign saying, "Is it right to work for the IRS?" He remained totally silent during these demonstrations. When asked to leave, he would leave, but very very slowly. At one, he was asked why he was doing this, so in answer, he handed them a piece of paper explaining. Weeks later when an article about it appeared in the Keene Free Press, federal agents showed up at his home, but he wasn't there at that time. A meeting was arranged between the feds and Dave and an officer from Homeland Security ticketed Dave for his leafleting "crime", fining him $125. Dave refused to pay this fine, and went to court a few times to demand where in the Constitution were the feds allowed the power to fine him for leafleting. The federal judge never answered this question to Dave's satisfaction, and he never paid. Eventually, the judge threw Dave in jail for 4 days for his "contempt" in refusing to pay the fine. Federal agents leaving the courtroom looked downright morose over what had just happened. The judge himself said that Dave was obviously no danger to society, but there he was, being locked up with dangerous criminals.

While Dave was in jail, I decided I needed to step forward. I went up to the IRS office in Keene to hold a sign saying, "Taxes pay for torture". Lauren Canario went up with me, wearing a "V" mask. Homeland Security was again there to protect the government. Lauren and I were arrested when we refused to leave the building. Later, we were released after being ticketed. They want us to pay two $125 fines each. Neither of us intend to pay or show up in court voluntarily. Ian Bernard of Free Talk Live shot this video of that day's events:

People have the impression that the first thing you need to resist the evil government is massive numbers. While that would be great, I think it is imperative that we each do what we can, alone if need be. Each person can evaluate their lives: Am I aiding this atrocity? Am I funding torture? Am I funding wars of aggression? Should I be paying taxes for these things? Should I be working for government? Should I personally do something to register my dissent about what is happening? The act of one person can inspire others to act, even if the act is small. Others then inspire more to act. Then maybe we can eventually have those massive numbers of dissenters standing up in opposition to war, stealing our money, torturing men who have never been convicted of wrongdoing, regulating every aspect of our lives, controlling us, numbering us, enslaving us.

What will you do to oppose them?

This article with more pictures can be found at:


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