Public debate surrounding conscientious objectors of foreign wars is a longstanding tradition of democracies. Indeed, when objectors facing imprisonment at the Canadian and Mexican borders for draft dodging of conscription during the Vietnam War in the United States were brought into custody, the enormous response in press, and in public discourse, served to transform national identity along the lines of peace.
In U.K.: Contempt of Conscience (2008) similar circumstances in Britain during the Iraq War led to the story told in this documentary film about pacifist Joe Jenkins. Requesting revocation of his tax payment from the U.K.’s taxation system based on the rationale that he did not want his earnings to support the war effort, he was threatened with arrest.
The crime of consciousness persists today as it did in the 1960s. Democratic nation-states respond to pacifist protest with the kind of punishment normally associated with authoritarian regimes. For Jenkins, the refusal of the UK tax authority in redirecting his payment to public rather than military purposes was responded to resourcefully in a five year campaign against the British state.
The documentary is a chronicle of the veritable battle waged by Jenkins and the Peace Tax Seven illustrates the ardent faith that private citizens bring to the bargaining table. An incredible story about Britain’s anti-war movement in the 20th
centuries, conscientious objectors everywhere concerned about the violation of human rights around the globe will find this an interesting story about non-violent protest and resolution in the face of terror.U.K.: Contempt of Conscience
- ISBN 978-1-61753-152-1
- Run Time (52 Minutes)
- Copyright 2008
- Closed Captioned (CC)