REPORT/Tax as a Tool for Racial Justice

You are invited to delve into our first self-produced report: Tax As A Tool For Racial Justice. This project is a product of a partnership between Tax Justice UK and Tax Justice Network that began in 2020 which opened up a conversation around the real need for detailed strategic research within the tax justice movement in the UK.

Accessible versions:

Read our single page version of the Tax as a Tool for Racial Justice report.

Or flip through the Tax as a Tool for Racial Justice report on Issuu.

In the next stage of this work, we hope you take this report to act as a framework for future research, organising and campaigns in which tax can be used as a tool to repair the harms of structural racism that are embedded into our economic system. This paper has been written to invite discussion – and throughout there will be moments for your personal reflections.

We hope that through this paper we are able to encourage investment in deeper and more intelligent research into the colonial roots of our economy, and a commitment to movement-led policy making and organising infrastructure that would influence mainstream tax justice campaigns and the broader tax policy world. 

This is your chance to reflect, interrogate, critique, digest and offer your insights as part of the participatory process of movement-centred research. We expect to hear back from you!

Following the report release on Tuesday 13th September, we are planning a movement assembly in October that will bring together the new economy sector with activists to build commitment, shared strategy and accountability in racial justice organising.

Article // Living Lavish; How Black Capitalism Took Over The Conversation.

In December 2020, Noni wrote an article discussing whether it is possible to ethically "secure the bag" for Gal-dem.

This is a crosspost, you can read the full article here.

Alternative paths to liberation

No examination of the development of Black capitalism is complete without the parallel stories of Black anti-capitalist resistance movements. Through keeping us chasing after the bag and working ourselves to the bone, capitalism puts blinkers on our eyes about what is possible – whilst simultaneously erasing the visibility of movements that show us that there has to be another way.

An example that haunts me is the devastation of America’s ‘Black Wall Street’ in Tulsa in 1921, where Black Americans who were divesting from the exploitation of their labour were massacred by the KKK for daring to dream differently. Because when we collectively divest from capitalism, we threaten capitalism.

During the course of my work at Decolonising Economics, I have the pleasure of uncovering the histories of Black communities resisting capitalism, which are also called ‘solidarity economic movements’ (SEMs). These look like mutual financial aid – such as when freed slaves would pool funds together to save up to buy the freedom of a still-enslaved peer, a process that would go on indefinitely.

One of the most relevant SEMs for Black people in 2020 and beyond is the cooperative movement. A cooperative, defined by Black economist Jessica Gordon Nempart, is;  “An autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through jointly-owned and democratically – controlled enterprise.” 

In the UK, the cooperative movement (a similar set up to parallel community initiatives like Pardner or Susu) was instrumental in supporting the Windrush generation when they reached the hostile British shores and couldn’t get access to loans, jobs and housing. Black people developed “credit unions”, with the very first union set up in Hornsey in 1964 by West Indian migrants. These unions – which were collectively owned banks where individuals could contribute to a collective pool and members or the community could withdraw and invest from – allowed the Windrush generation to rent and buy houses without being forced to turn to exploitative loan sharks. 

Project // Reimagining the tax system; Decolonising Economics x Greenpeace

How can we decolonise the economy, repair our ecosystems and address wealth inequality? Listen to Guppi give you the rundown about how reimagining the tax system could be the key to these problems.