The New York Times profiles nonviolent resistance scholar Gene Sharp, who developed the training and resources that have been drawn on by activists in the recent Egyptian and Tunisian revolts, among others.
Speaking of nonviolent action, I notice that the War Resisters’ International pamphlet on Training for Nonviolent Action is now freely available on-line.
At the meeting held by the Central London Branch at Chandos Hall on
, Mrs. [Margaret] Kineton
Parkes, secretary to the Tax-Resistance Committee, said there was a large
body of women who in their hearts really approved of militant methods, but
could not join in them, who yet did want to do more than the constitutional
Suffragists had done hitherto. She believed that tax-resistance was the one
thing which would combine militant and constitutional women on one platform.
The one great difficulty was that out of perhaps one hundred women who wanted
to tax-resist, only about eighty could do it. Unearned income was taxed at
its source. Inhabited house duty was perhaps the easiest to resist, but women
who lived in flats had this paid by their landlords.
They looked at tax-resistance from the higher standpoint; they had
conscientious principles against paying any taxes whatsoever while women were
Government Use of Taxes.
Were they — the tax-paying women of the country — doing right in having their
money spent on things of which they did not approve? They need only take one
instance — the South African War. That might or might not have been a just
war, but not one woman in the country had been asked to register her opinion
about that war, yet all the women paid for it, directly or indirectly. They
did rather want to ask themselves what their money was used for. They paid
for the salaries of Cabinet Ministers, and they would be asked in all
probability, before very long, to pay Members of Parliament. Did they realise
for one moment that their money was being used to pay sweated wages to other
women? The Government were the very worst payers of wages to women.
They resisted only imperial taxes, not local rates. The latter they paid
because they had the municipal vote, but Inhabited House Duty, Income-tax,
Property tax, dog licenses, carriage licenses, and those for Armorial
Bearings and Liveried Servants, they resisted. The easiest to resist was
Inhabited House Duty; the next easiest, earned income — actresses and doctors
could do this. The Government had bluffed women about their taxes; women had
paid far more than they ever need for many years through ignorance. One woman
had written across her tax-payer: “You call me a lunatic, therefore you
cannot expect me to be responsible; you call me a pauper, therefore how can
you possibly expect me to pay?”
Married Women and Taxes.
Dealing with the position of married women, Mrs. Parkes said that there were
two laws on the Statute-book of England which were absolutely at variance
with one another — the Married Women’s Property Act and the Income-tax act of
. Married women were not liable to
Income-tax. Supposing a wife was earning £100 a year. The law said that no
woman was to pay Income-tax if she was married, but it was added to the
husband’s, and he had to pay, though incomes of £100 only were not taxable.
They had a test case, and the Government had withdrawn their claim, proving
that the woman had the rights of the case. They ought to combine in large
numbers on this part of the question.
Another brief note in the same issue said that Anna Munro had also promoted
tax resistance (and census resistance) as a tactic in a speech to the West
Sussex branch of the Women’s Freedom League.
Montreal Merchants Aroused, and Say They Will Not Pay It.
Montreal, . —
The retail merchants of Montreal are, figuratively speaking, up in arms over
a tax imposed by the Provincial Government with the intent to raise revenue,
and are going to fight it to the bitter end. They have said that they will
resist the officers if they come to their stores to collect the tax.
When the present Government was elected by an overwhelming majority they
found the Treasury empty. To raise $1,000,000 they imposed a tax on merchants
throughout the Province, but instead of making an equal one, Montreal
merchants had to pay twice as much as those in Quebec, a city half the size.
This the Montreal men refused to do, and, after repeated meetings, as the
Government demanded the tax, they raised $2,000 to contest it, and now demand
that a test case shall be made on the ground that the tax is unconstitutional.
Some of the largest retail merchants in Montreal have refused to pay, and now
Provincial Treasurer Hall says they must or be sold out. The merchants have
engaged the best legal talent to contest the tax, and their association
committee says stronger means will be employed if necessary.