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 catch-all headline “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 Newtown [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 tactics.
  • 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.
  • Mike Gerber and Jon Schwarz penned a nice “Declaration of Independence” to celebrate the 4th.
  • William D. Hartung comments on our weird collective amnesia about the fact that a handful of nuclear-armed psychopaths are holding millions of lives in the balance.
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