Aid the Families of Imprisoned Tax Resisters

If a tax resistance campaign, or any civil disobedience campaign, anticipates that resisters may be imprisoned, it can give those resisters one less thing to worry about by organizing to help the families of those behind bars.

Gandhi in South Africa

Gandhi usually stressed that satyagrahis should be self-reliant and not expect much in the way of organizational assistance, but when he was planning a tax strike in South Africa in he thought that supporting imprisoned strikers’ families was a priority:

Finally the refusal to pay the tax! Then, undoubtedly, the Congress should undertake to feed the wives and families of those who may be imprisoned. The men would undoubtedly go to gaol, if there is a body of earnest workers. … The thing cannot be taken up haphazard. If the men were asked to go to gaol today, I do not think you would find anybody taking up the suggestion, but if the preliminary steps as described above, are taken, by the time a final reply is received the men will have been thoroughly prepared to face the music.

Some of these families of resisters were put up temporarily at “Tolstoy farm” and donations from campaign supporters were used to provide for them.


According to Robert Cooney’s & Helen Michalowski’s The Power of the People: Active Nonviolence in the United States:

Peacemakers at the Ohio cell organized a land trust to remove property from the market place and established the Peacemaker Sharing Fund, a mutual aid plan designed to insure aid to dependents of imprisoned Peacemakers and to help finance group projects. During the Vietnam war, the sharing fund became the main vehicle for donations to meet the needs of war resisters’ families.

The Rosenburg Fund for Children

In the United States, The Rosenburg Fund for Children is designed “to provide for the educational and emotional needs of children whose parents have suffered because of their progressive activities and who, therefore, are no longer able to provide fully for their children.”

U.K. Poll Tax resistance

The Trafalgar Square Defendants’ Campaign provided some funds to help facilitate visits to imprisoned resisters from their families.