Tax-Refusnikís day in court

Andy Newman


More than 20 peace activists from Wiltshire lobbied Chippenham Magistrates Court on Tuesday 6th December in support of tax-refusnik Douglas Barker


Douglas Barker, a pensioner from Purton near Swindon was in court because he has withheld 10% of his taxes as a protest against the war in Iraq. The protest was filmed by BBC local news, and Doug was interviewed for BBC radio, and extensive coverage was gained in the Swindon Evening Advertiser and the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald.


Dougís supporters crammed the magistrates court and heard him make a dignified speech to the court. He explained that he could not in good conscience pay taxes knowing that they would be spent in pursuit of an illegal war, where weapons like white phosphorus are being used on civilians, so he had reduced his tax payment by the amount he estimated was due to the military budget.


The magistrates pointed out that even though they were sympathetic to his arguments they had no discretion and imposed an enforcement order upon him. Doug is now contemplating his next move, aware that ultimately he could go to prison.


Doug Barkerís protest is an individual and independent action, but he is also supported by the Peace Tax Seven, and Robin Brookes attended court to support Doug.,




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