The Independent tells the story of Kate Harvey, a tax resister in Britain’s women’s suffrage movement:
The badge is cast in the form of a shield on which is depicted the entrance to Holloway Prison. On the reverse is a card inscribed in a faint hand: “Given to Mrs K Harvey By Women’s Suffrage After She Had Been In Prison For Tax Resistance.”
Kate Harvey was a remarkable woman, even without the incident which lies at the heart of the commendation. She was, for a start, a professional woman in what was very much the man’s world of late Victorian Britain.… ¶ But she was not just a physiotherapist, she was also deaf.…
…Around 100 women were sent to prison for refusing to pay.
The most notorious of these was Mrs Harvey. After many months of refusing to buy a [tax] stamp for her servant, in the authorities issued a warrant for the seizure of goods in lieu of payment. She responded by barricading herself into her house. An eight month stand-off passed before bailiffs finally broke in using a crowbar. But she still refused to pay, declaring “I would rather die first”. She set about building better barricades. This time the bailiffs needed battering rams to get in.
…When the First World War broke out the main suffragette organisations called off their campaign. But [Charlotte] Despard and Harvey refused. Most members of the Women’s Freedom League were pacifists and refused, unlike other women’s organisations, to become involved in the British Army’s recruitment campaign.