Voteless Women in South Africa Refuse to Pay Taxes
So far I’ve read plenty about tax resistance being used by the women’s
suffrage campaigns in Britain and the United States, and a little also in
France and Bermuda. But this tantalizing little hint is the first sign I’ve
seen from South Africa:
Members of the Women’s party of South Africa are refusing to pay taxes until
they get the ballot.
That’s it. The whole news item. One one-sentence paragraph of nine under the
“Bits of Information”
alongside such things as “Girls born in May are, according to the old belief,
amiable, good-looking, long-lived, and happy” and “When rock is relatively dry
it is not greatly damaged by exposure to freezing” in the
[New York] Register.
I went on the hunt through various on-line archives to try to dig up more
about this campaign, but had no luck.
Some bits and pieces from here and there:
Greek being Greek to me, I had to rely on Google Translate to get the gist
of this page,
but that gist seems to be that the Greek “won’t pay” movement and the
Spanish “indignants” movement are starting to coordinate and share
One of the ideas I’m toying with for organizing my possibly upcoming book
on historical and global examples of tax resistance campaigns is in terms
of “gambits” — tactics and counter-tactics commonly used in the course of
such campaigns. Here’s an example.
In New York, it costs $6 less to cross the George Washington Bridge if
you’re a “carpool” than if you’re not. So people started doing informal
ride-shares, where people who needed rides would hitchhike near the
bridge, and drivers wanting to avoid the excess toll would pick them up.
But this cut into the Port Authority of New York’s revenue from the
bridge tolls, so they sent the police out to ticket drivers who picked up
such hitchhikers — in spite of there being no law against doing
so. This extra-legal police harrassment helps protect a government
revenue stream and discourages resistance.
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