Gaza City began a second two-day commercial strike
in support of doctors who refuse to
pay the Israeli Government a 12 percent tax on their income.
Israeli troops patrolled the empty streets of the occupied city but made no
attempt to force shopkeepers to open up. Gaza City carried out a two-day
business strike earlier this week to protest the tax, which the municipality
claims is not applicable in occupied territories.
The residents of the city demanded an end to the occupation and statehood for
the Palestinians. In Rafiah, 15 miles south of Gaza City, students threw
rocks at a police car sent to remove signs urging local businessmen to join
the strike, the police said.
After many months of barricade, “Brackenhill” was broken into by the
tax-collecting authorities, and “in the King’s name” the doors were battered
in and Mrs. [Kate] Harvey’s goods were seized to cover the amount of taxes
which she refuses to pay so long as no woman in the land has a voice in
controlling the expenditure of the country. The tax-collector wanted these
goods to be disposed of peacefully, and therefore insisted that they should
be sold on the premises and not in a public hall, as on a previous occasion.
On morning a band of Suffragist
men carried placards through the streets of Bromley, on which was the
device, “I personally protest against the sale of a woman’s goods to pay
taxes over which she has no control,” and long before
, the time fixed for the sale,
from North, South, East and West, people came streaming into the little town
of Bromley, and made their way towards “Brackenhill.” Punctually at
the tax-collector and his
deputy mounted the table in the dining-room, and the former, more in sorrow
than in anger, began to explain to the crowd assembled that this was a
genuine sale! Mrs. Harvey at once protested against the sale taking place.
Simply and solely because she was a woman, although she was a mother, a
business woman, and a tax-payer, she had no voice in saying how the taxes
collected from her should be spent. The tax collector suffered this speech in
silence, but he could judge by the cheers it received that there were many
ardent sympathisers with Mrs. Harvey in her protest. He tried to proceed, but
one after another the men present loudly urged that no one there should bid
for the goods. The tax-collector feebly said this wasn’t a political meeting,
but a genuine sale! “One penny for your goods then!” was the derisive
answer. “One penny — one penny!” was the continued cry from both inside and
outside “Brackenhill.” Then men protested that the tax-collector was not a
genuine auctioneer; he had no hammer, no list of goods to be sold was hung up
in the room. There was no catalogue, nothing to show bidders what was to be
sold and what wasn’t. The men also objected to the presence of the
tax-collector’s deputy. “Tell him to get down!” they shouted. “The sale
shan’t proceed till he does,” they yelled. “Get down! Get down:” they sang.
But the tax-collector felt safer by the support of this deputy. “He’s afraid
of his own clerk,” they jeered. Again the tax-collector asked for bids. “One
penny! One penny!” was the deafening response. The din increased every moment
and pandemonium reigned supreme. During a temporary lull the tax-collector
said a sideboard had been sold for nine guineas. Angry cries from angry men
greeted this announcement. “Illegal sale!” “He shan’t take it home!” “The
whole thing’s illegal!” “You shan’t sell anything else!” and
The Daily Herald Leaguers, members of the Men’s
Political Union, and of other men’s societies, proceeded to make more noise
than twenty brass bands. Darkness was quickly settling in; the tax-collector
looked helpless, and his deputy smiled wearily. “Talk about a comic opera — it’s better than Gilbert and Sullivan could manage,” roared an enthusiast.
“My word, you look sick, guv’nor! Give it up, man!” Then everyone shouted
against the other until the tax-collector said he closed the sale, remarking
plaintively that he had lost £7 over the job! Ironical cheers greeted this
news, with “Serve you right for stealing a woman’s goods!” He turned his back
on his tormentors, and sat down in a chair on the table to think things over.
The protesters sat on the sideboard informing all and sundry that if anyone
wanted to take away the sideboard he should take them with it! With the exit
of the tax-collector, his deputy and the bailiff, things gradually grew
quieter, and later on Mrs. Harvey entertained her supporters to tea at the
Bell Hotel. But the curious thing is, a man paid nine guineas for the
sideboard to the tax-collector. Mrs. Harvey owed him more than £17, and Mrs.
Harvey is still in possession of the sideboard!
In the Market-square in the evening Miss Boyle presided at a large and
orderly meeting at which Mr. Mark Wilkes, Mr. Bell, Mr. Webber, Mr. Steer,
and Mr. Jouning spoke. The Tax Resistance banners mingled with those of
the Women’s Freedom League, and the meeting was the event of
evening at Bromley.
At the instigation of Mr. Webber enthusiastic cheers were given for Mrs.
Harvey and the Cause, and Mrs. [Charlotte] Despard, responding to an
insistent call, wound up the meeting with a short speech.
At the Grand Concert Hall, Hastings, on
night a public meeting was held
under the auspices of the Women’s Tax Resistance League, which created
immense interest in the town owing to the recent decision by Judge Mackarness
in favour of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies against the
Mayor and Corporation of Hastings. It will be remembered that owing to the
Anti-Suffrage riots on , the
authorities prohibited the protest meeting to be held that night, and it was
the same mob which attacked the members of the National Union a few days
The postponed meeting of the Women’s Tax Resistance League was held
night, and in the unavoidable
absence of the Countess Brassey the chair was taken by Lady Isabel Hampden
Margesson, a direct ascendant of John Hampden.
Lady Isabel, in her opening speech, fully vindicated the action of her
historic ancestor, and illustrated by her well-chosen words and clearly
expressed sentiments, that she is equally prepared to resist injustice and
expose bad government.
Mr Laurence Housman, in a brilliant political speech, traced the
constitutional history of Tax Resistance from Magna Charta to the present day,
proving that only through refusing to submit to imposition have all great
reforms been won.
Mrs. [Margaret] Kineton Parkes, who was the other speaker, accused the
Government of unconstitutional action in demanding taxation from a large
section of the community from whom they withheld representation. She also gave
the moral reasons why women should demand the vote, and why they should also
unite in protesting by the time honoured way of Tax Resistance against its
At the close of the meeting the following resolution was carried with one
That this meeting is of opinion that women are justified in refusing to
pay all Imperial taxes until they are granted the same control over national
expenditure as male taxpayers possess.
It is satisfactory to know that there was adequate police protection. It is
stated on good authority that the Chief Constable was himself in attendance
at this meeting, together with seventy members of the Force, and as many of
these men were taken from night duty it caused the authorities a good deal of
extra expense. This police protection would have been more to the point if it
had been in evidence in the streets of Hastings on
On , Mrs. Kineton
Parkes spoke at Bristol under the auspices of the New Constitutional Society,
and on Wednesday, at Cardiff, under the Women’s Social and Political Union.
No Vote, No Dog License.
At the Assize Court, Kingston-on-Thames, on
, Miss Isabelle
Stewart, B.Sc., was summoned for
non-payment of her dog license. Defendant did not appear, but it was
explained that she had declined to pay the tax on conscientious grounds. As a
suffragist she believed that it was unjust to tax women while they were
unrepresented in Parliament. She was accordingly fined £2 inclusive, and [as]
it was stated that she would not pay a fine she considered unjust, distraint
was ordered to be levied.
A number of sympathisers were in the Court, including Princess Sophia Duleep
Singh, who is refusing to pay the licences on her eight dogs. A meeting was
held by the Coronation Stone in the Market Square. Miss M. Lawrence presided,
pointing out that had Miss Stewart been a man she would have had two votes;
as a woman she had none. Mrs. [Myra Eleanor] Sadd Brown then addressed the
crowd. She commented on the treachery of a Government that had gone back on
its principle of no taxation without representation and on the different
forms of treatment meted out to Sir Edward Carson, Jim Larkin, and the
Suffragists respectively. The crowd throughout was sympathetic, and at the
end of the meeting swarmed round the speaker and argued in an amicable way
Mrs. Harvey’s Thanks.
The Women’s Tax Resistance League has received a very charming letter of
thanks from Mrs. Harvey for the bouquet presented to her by Miss Clemence
Housman on behalf of the League at the Caxton Hall Meeting on