Tags: Anti-tax | Group | Makes | 'Final | Warning' | Federal | Government

Anti-tax Group Makes 'Final Warning' to Federal Government

Friday, 15 November 2002 12:00 AM

The conservatives and Libertarians attending the rally said their protest should serve as a wake-up call to lawmakers, but the Anti-Defamation League regards the protest as an "extremist" threat.

"The tax protest movement is a right-wing extremist movement," said Mark Pitcavage, director of "fact finding" for ADL. "You're not talking about tax reformers here. You're talking about people who have incredible conspiracy theories about the government."

ADL considers those who organized and attended the anti-tax rally to be such a serious threat that it included the group on its monthly calendar of "extremist events." Pitcavage said that the event's organizer, a group called "We The People Congress," advocated an agenda that is "so far out of the mainstream" that the group has disenfranchised itself from the rest of American society.

"These are people who do not think simply that taxes are too high or want tax reform," Pitcavage said. "They have convinced themselves they do not have to pay taxes and that there's a major government conspiracy designed to cover up that fact."

Pitcavage warned that the anti-tax movement was not confined to protest rallies.

"It's also a movement that has been linked strongly to violence, to attacks on IRS agents, to blowing up IRS offices, as well as many other crimes," he said. "There's a great deal of criminal activity associated with the movement."

A spokesman for We The People Congress dismissed ADL's accusations as "an incredible propaganda campaign." Mike Bodine said the sole purpose of the anti-tax rally, called Freedom Drive 2002, was to restore the Constitution to what it was in 1776.

"Frankly, I don't understand how trying to uphold and defend the Constitution of this nation can be construed to be an extremist event by anybody," Bodine said. "Unfortunately, we do question government."

According to Bodine, his group has issued four "petitions for redress of grievances" to the federal government. Those petitions challenge the constitutional legitimacy and legality of the federal income tax, the Federal Reserve, the War Powers clause and the USA Patriot Act.

"The reason that they don't make a formal declaration of war anymore, and that we haven't since World War II, is that it's very, very politically difficult to do," Bodine said. "But that's exactly why the Founding Fathers put it in there. It was supposed to be difficult to do."

"We're trying to give the government a warning, kind of like a final warning," said Rick Stanley, a Denver businessman and member of the Libertarian Party, who recently tried to unseat Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo.

In March, Stanley released a comprehensive list of demands, including repeal of "all unconstitutional laws" at all levels of government. "In other words, they've been given the petition for redress of grievances many times, and the bottom line is we want them to obey the Constitution ... or else," he said.

Asked what "or else" means, Stanley was evasive, but he hinted at armed rebellion, mentioning a "Million Gun March" he is planning for July 4, 2003.

"We're coming to make sure that they comply with the Constitution and with our petition demands.

"To me, it [the Million Gun March] will be the thing that dislodges the government that has overthrown America from its perch. And what's going to happen is 'We, the people' will be running the government from that day forward."

Stanley and Bob Schulz, the latter the chairman of We The People Congress, are urging anti-tax activists to stop paying their income taxes, which both men say they already have done.

Stanley said his message to the federal government was clear: "We're cutting off your funding. We're cutting off your money supply."

But Stanley does not believe the vast majority of Americans will join his income-tax rebellion against the federal government. He expressed the need for something "bigger," that "something" being the "million gun" event.

"On that day, we'll be coming armed," Stanley warned. "And then we're going to have rallies at every state capital in all 50 states at the same time," he said.

Asked by CNSNews.com how he intended to deal with the District of Columbia's gun laws (the D.C. code says, "Carrying a handgun in the District is prohibited"), Stanley showed no concern.

"What about D.C.'s gun laws?" Stanley asked. "They're null and void. Anything that violates the U.S. Constitution - and the Supreme Court has said it probably a thousand times - it's null and void, as if it never existed," he said.

According to Stanley's Web site, the million gun march will be held only if at least 1 million people sign a petition guaranteeing their presence at the march.

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The conservatives and Libertarians attending the rally said their protest should serve as a wake-up call to lawmakers, but the Anti-Defamation League regards the protest as an "extremist" threat. "The tax protest movement is a right-wing extremist movement," said Mark...
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Friday, 15 November 2002 12:00 AM
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