Taxpayers 'forced to take part in conflicts', Sir Mark Rylance says


Sir Mark Rylance said he feels complicit in acts of terrorism because as a UK taxpayer he contributes to war each year.

The 57-year-old, who won a best actor Bafta for the 2015 adaptation of Hilary Mantel's novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, was speaking at an annual ceremony held in honour of conscientious protesters.

Addressing a crowd of more than 100 supporters in central London on behalf of campaign group Conscientious Taxes For Peace Not War, the recently knighted actor said: "Today most killing is done at long range by technological weapons which we all pay for and therefore we are complicit.

"In a way it's almost worse to pay someone else to go and kill someone than to do it yourself, but that's what we feel we are being forced to do."

He added: "Our conscious is being ignored and suppressed and we are forced to take part in this violent resolution of conflict."

The Oscar winning actor spoke with visible emotion about the international community and the disregard for human life.

He said: "We seem to drop bombs on children, disabled people and even hospitals in the name of some kind of goal."

"War is such a wasteful violent and destructive way of resolving conflict.

"We don't accept violence as a way of resolving conflict in our families, in our work places or in the street."

The BFG actor explained by working with Conscientious Taxes For Peace Not War they are ultimately trying to get the right of conscientious objection extended to taxation.

He said: "So that if our conscious tells us we can't be involved in war that counts when we're taxed."

The actor said he remained positive about the future, saying peace is the inevitable long-term outcome as humanity will not be able to cope with the growing demands of materialism.

The conscientious objectors' movement first began during the First World War when 16,000 men protested for religious, political or moral reasons after conscription was introduced in 1916.