Tax Resistance is Nonviolent Civil Resistance

Today’s tax resistance history lesson:

She Accuses London Police of Standing By While Roughs Assailed Her.
By Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph to The New York Times.

LONDON, .— Beatrice Haraden, the novelist, who recently returned from America, has made a serious charge against the London police.

Miss Harraden is a suffragist, and, as recently stated in The New York Times, she allowed her property to be distrained rather than pay the income tax, this being her protest to the Government’s refusal of suffrage.

The sale of Miss Harraden’s property, consisting of silver articles, took place on , when the property of several other women members of the Resistance League was auctioned in the Public Rooms.

According to reports in the English papers the tax resisters present were “booed” by the crowd, but Miss Harraden says that roughs not only jeered but also threw stones and refuse; she herself receiving a missile in the eye, necessitating treatment by a doctor.

Worse than this, according to Miss Harraden, was the fact that the crowd of about 300 persons calmly looked on while the women were attacked by the roughs, and that two constables made no effort to interfere.

“I cannot say that the police organized the attack,” said Miss Harraden, “but certainly they permitted it. I do not care for my own injury, but it is right that people should know of this injustice and brutality. The English press refers to such disorder as an expression of public opinion.”

Referring to the Tax Resistance League, Miss Harraden said:

“The least any woman can do is to refuse to pay taxes, especially the tax on actually earned income. This is certainly the most logical phase of the fight for suffrage. It is a culmination of the Government’s injustice and stupidity to ask that we pay an income tax on income earned by brains, when they are refusing to consider us eligible to vote.

“The league was formed three years ago with the slogan: ‘No vote, no tax.’ It is non-partisan—an association of constitutional and militant suffragists, recruited from various suffrage societies for the purpose of resisting taxes.…”

Another author who has refused to pay taxes is Flora Annie Steele. A silver cup, belonging to the Duchess of Bedford, was auctioned on under distraint and was bought in by friends. The Duchess was not present at the sale at which resolutions of protest were presented by an American, Dr. Stanton Coit, a member of the men’s branch of the Tax Resistance League, who in a speech referred to his ancestors of Boston participating in the “Boston Tea Party” and asserted that the same belief animated them as suffragists—namely, that taxation without representation was tyranny.

This impelled him now, he said, to refuse to pay his wife’s income tax until she was allowed to vote, notwithstanding that an income tax officer had sent him the last notice to pay within seven days or take the consequences. He asserted that he was anxiously waiting till the seven days elapsed.