Radical Objects

Radical Objects: Anti-Poll Tax Badge

image of an anti-poll tax badge that says poll tax - load of wank
Anti-Poll Tax badge from 1989-90

This badge was made in 1989-1990 by Guy Taylor using the Brighton Unemployed Resource Centre’s badge-making machine. There were over 30 designs, and other popular slogans included “Poll Tax – fuck shit wank crap bollocks”. The badges were sold for 40p each or three for a pound, and proceeds from the sales went to support the Kemptown anti-Poll Tax Union.

The Community Charge, known as the Poll Tax, was system of personal taxation for local government in the UK that replaced the local authority rates system in 1990 and was replaced by the Council Tax in 1993. Its brief tenure was due to its overwhelming unpopularity: it replaced a house value-based tax with a flat rate charge regardless of income. Opposition was widespread and took the form of direct resistance, including non-payment campaigns, centred on local ‘anti-poll tax unions’. Demonstrations against the tax culminated on 31 March 1990 (the eve of the tax’s introduction in England) in a march of a quarter of a million people to Trafalgar Square which ended in violent clashes with the police.

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