I like the “non-Communist demonstrators” bit. From the
New York Times (excerpt):
In a faint protest against tax funds going for military spending, ten
non-Communist demonstrators picketed the office of the Third Internal
Revenue District at 110 East Forty-fifth Street and reported that forty-one
persons in the nation were refusing to pay part of their income taxes
because of objections to arming.
The anti-war pickets at the Third District, who paraded
, called themselves the Tax
Refusal Committee of Peacemakers with headquarters at 2013 Fifth Avenue. They
distributed leaflets saying that the “real crime in connection with the
Bureau of Internal Revenue” is not corruption but collection of money for
“preparations for mass murder — for a third world war.”
Among the forty-one Americans listed as refusing to pay part of their taxes as
an anti-arms protest were the
Rev. A.J. Muste and the
Rev. George M. Houser,
both officers of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a pacifist group; James
Peck, a restaurant worker, of 552 Riverside Drive, and his wife, and Miss
Mary S. McDowell, a retired school teacher, of 555 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn.
Mr. Hoffman said his district had received “maybe a dozen”
letters from taxpayers declaring that they were paying only 45 per cent of
their taxes, to cover non-arms parts of the Federal budget. The collector
reported that the office would bill them for the rest and attach their
property is [sic] necessary.
Some of these names are pretty new to me. George M. Houser I think is still
around, and you can find some stuff on line about him and his long career in
In reply to your notice of
that I owe… 246.28… I believe that war is wicked and contrary to our
democratic faith… and it is also contrary to our Christian faith which
teaches us to overcome evil with good. Moreover, in the atomic age and in an
interdependent world, even victorious war could only bring disaster to our
own country as well as others. War preparations and threats of atomic war
cannot give us security. True patriotism calls for world-wide cooperation for
human welfare and immediate steps toward universal disarmament through the
United Nations. Accordingly, I still refuse to pay the 70% of the tax which
I calculate is the proportion of the tax used for present and future wars.
The portion used for civilian welfare I am glad to pay.
Among James Peck’s other adventures in pacifist agitation included a
three-year stint in prison as a draft resister during World War Ⅱ, piloting a
sailboat into a nuclear weapons testing zone in the Pacific to try to disrupt
the tests, engaging in the Freedom Rides and attempts to integrate restaurants
in the South, and disrupting an event where President Lyndon Johnson was
scheduled to accept the “National Freedom Award” from the
funded group Freedom House to give him lip about Vietnam.
The hon. treasurer of our
Brighton branch (Mrs. Jones-Williams) is the first person in Brighton to
refuse to pay taxes as a protest against the unenfranchised condition of
women. The local authorities, apparently not knowing the usual procedure,
took the unusual course of sending a bailiff to take possession. Thanks to
the activity of some members of the men’s league, the authorities consented
to the man being in “walking possession.”
Once before this course has been taken, when a bailiff was put in possession
at Mrs. Rose Hyland’s in Manchester. Not even this unnecessary piece of
annoyance will make us pause in our efforts to refuse our consent to taxation
Sale on .
We congratulate the Brighton branch and Mrs. Jones-Williams on the firm stand
they have made in the matter, and urge all Suffragists in the town to rally
to the protest meeting .
Mrs. [Edith] How-Martyn will be one of the speakers.
Another Passive Resister,
and a member of the N.E.C.,
Mrs. Francis, the hon.
secretary of the branch, writes:— “‘With this ring I thee wed’ — that’s
sorcery; ‘with my body I thee worship’ — that’s idolatry; and ‘with my
worldly goods I thee endow’ — that’s a lie,” says old Sir J. Bowring.
“Wishing to test the validity or otherwise of the vow which, according to the
forms of the Established Church, my husband made at the altar at the time of
our marriage, and also with an ever-increasing sense that tax-resistance is
not only morally justifiable, but morally imperative, I have refused consent,
as joint controller of our mutual finances, to the payment of my half of the
year’s taxes. My husband has therefore retained this amount while paying his
own share, and explaining the reasons for taking this action. An entreating
letter has followed from the tax-collector, but the threat of distraint has
not yet been received.
“We hope that if and when these protests have to be pushed to extremity our
friends will do their utmost to help make them widely known and effective.”
Notwithstanding the mud and odoriferous atmosphere of the back streets off
Drury-lane, quite a large number of members of the Tax Resisters’ League, the
Women’s Freedom League, and the Women’s Social and Political Union, met
outside Bulloch’s Sale Rooms shortly after
to protest against the sale of Miss Bertha Brewster’s goods, which had been
seized because of her refusal to pay her Imperial taxes. Before the sale took
place, Mrs. Gatty, as chairman, explained to at least a hundred people the
reasons of Miss Brewster’s refusal to pay her taxes and the importance of the
constitutional principle that taxation without representation is tyranny,
which this refusal stood for. Miss Leonora Tyson proposed the resolution
protesting against the injustice of this sale, and it was seconded by Miss
F[lorence]. A. Underwood, and supported by Miss Brackenbury. The resolution
was carried with only two dissentients, and these dissentients were women!
On , a
drawing-room meeting was held at 30, Hyde Park Gate, by kind permission of
Mrs. [Adela] Stanton Coit. Mrs. [Edith] Zangwill was in the chair, and gave
an opening address which was full of charm and subtle truth. Her delightful
personality always serves to emphasise the depth of thought contained in her
remarks. Miss [Alice] Abadam was the principal speaker, and her address was a
masterpiece of oratory directed to emphasise the grave responsibility of the
taxpaying women of this country towards the moral, spiritual and political
emancipation of woman. Mrs. [Margaret] Kineton Parkes gave a short account of
the work of the society, formed to put into practice the principles of tax
resistance, which was followed by a good discussion, opened by
Dr. Stanton Coit. The
secretary of the league also addressed a crowded audience in the Public Hall,
Croydon, on the subject of tax resistance,
, and the chair was taken by Miss Green,
treasurer for the local branch of the
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