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Encyclopedia > Civil disobedience
Rosa Parks in 1955. She became famous for refusing to obey racist regulations. Her individual action of civil disobedience started the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which is one of the largest movements against racial segregation. In addition, this launched Martin Luther King, Jr., who was involved with the boycott, to prominence in the civil rights movement.

Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of a government or of an occupying power without resorting to physical violence. It is one of the primary tactics of nonviolent resistance. In its most nonviolent form (known as ahimsa or satyagraha) it could be said that it is compassion in the form of respectful disagreement. Civil disobedience may refer to: Civil disobedience, the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of a government or of an occupying power without resorting to physical violence. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 421 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (562 × 800 pixel, file size: 267 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photograph of Rosa Parks with Dr. King (ca. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 421 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (562 × 800 pixel, file size: 267 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photograph of Rosa Parks with Dr. King (ca. ... Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist and seamstress whom the U.S. Congress dubbed the Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement. Parks is famous for her refusal on December 1, 1955 to obey bus driver James Blake... 1. ... Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. ... The Rex Theatre for Colored People Racial segregation is characterised by separation of different races in daily life, such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a rest room, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home[1]. Segregation... “MLK” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... In the context of international relations and diplomacy, power (sometimes clarified as international power, national power, or state power) is the ability of one state to influence or control other states. ... Nonviolent resistance (or nonviolent action) is the practice of applying power to achieve socio-political goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, and other methods, without using violence. ... Ahimsa (Devanagari: ; IAST ) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). ... Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi, who developed Satyagraha Satyagraha (Sanskrit: सत्याग्रह satyāgraha) is a philosophy and practice of nonviolent resistance developed by Mohandas K. Gandhi. ... It has been suggested that Idiot compassion be merged into this article or section. ...


Civil disobedience has been used in nonviolent resistance movements in India (Gandhi's social welfare campaigns and campaigns to speed up independence from the British Empire), in South Africa in the fight against apartheid, in the American Civil Rights Movement and in peace movements worldwide. Nonviolent resistance (or nonviolent action) is the practice of applying power to achieve socio-political goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, and other methods, without using violence. ... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: , Hindi: , IAST: mohandās karamcand gāndhī, IPA: ) (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948), was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement. ... A segregated beach in South Africa, 1982. ... Martin Luther King is perhaps most famous for his I Have a Dream speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom This article is about the civil rights movement following the Brown v. ... The global peace movement refers to a sense of common purpose among organizations that seek to end wars and minimize inter-human violence, usually through pacifism, non-violent resistance, diplomacy, boycott, moral purchasing and demonstrating. ...


The American author Henry David Thoreau pioneered the modern theory behind this practice in his 1849 essay Civil Disobedience, originally titled "Resistance to Civil Government". The driving idea behind the essay was that of self-reliance, and how one is in morally good standing as long as one can "get off another man's back"; so one doesn't have to physically fight the government, but one must not support it or have it support one (if one is against it). This essay has had a wide influence on many later practitioners of civil disobedience. In the essay, Thoreau explained his reasons for having refused to pay taxes as an act of protest against slavery and against the Mexican-American War. Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862; born David Henry Thoreau[1]) was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, and philosopher who is best known for Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance... Civil Disobedience is an essay by Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. ... A tax resister resists or refuses payment of a tax because of opposition to the institution collecting the tax, or to some of that institution’s policies. ... Demonstrators march in the street while protesting the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on April 16, 2005. ... Slave redirects here. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia José Mariá Flores Strength 78,790 soldiers 25,000–40,000 soldiers Casualties KIA: 1733 Total dead: 13,271 Wounded: 4,152 AWOL: 9,200+ 25,000...

Contents

Theories and techniques of civil disobedience

Anti-war activist Midge Potts is arrested for civil disobedience on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States on 9 February 2005
Anti-war activist Midge Potts is arrested for civil disobedience on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States on 9 February 2005

In seeking an active form of civil disobedience, one may choose to deliberately break certain laws, such as by forming a peaceful blockade or occupying a facility illegally. Protesters practice this non-violent form of civil disorder with the expectation that they will be arrested, or even attacked or beaten by the authorities. Protesters often undergo training in advance on how to react to arrest or to attack, so that they will do so in a manner that quietly or limply resists without threatening the authorities. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1704x2272, 741 KB)DC Anti-War Network activist Midge Potts is arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C. for an act of civil disobedience. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1704x2272, 741 KB)DC Anti-War Network activist Midge Potts is arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C. for an act of civil disobedience. ... Midge Potts speaks at a protest during the 2007 State of the Union Address. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the... Civil disorder is a broad term that is typically used by law enforcement to describe one or more forms of disturbance caused by a group of people. ...


For example, Mahatma Gandhi outlined the following rules: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: , Hindi: , IAST: mohandās karamcand gāndhī, IPA: ) (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948), was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement. ...

  1. A civil resister (or satyagrahi) will harbour no anger.
  2. He will suffer the anger of the opponent.
  3. In so doing he will put up with assaults from the opponent, never retaliate; but he will not submit, out of fear of punishment or the like, to any order given in anger.
  4. When any person in authority seeks to arrest a civil resister, he will voluntarily submit to the arrest, and he will not resist the attachment or removal of his own property, if any, when it is sought to be confiscated by authorities.
  5. If a civil resister has any property in his possession as a trustee, he will refuse to surrender it, even though in defending it he might lose his life. He will, however, never retaliate.
  6. Retaliation includes swearing and cursing.
  7. Therefore a civil resister will never insult his opponent, and therefore also not take part in many of the newly coined cries which are contrary to the spirit of ahimsa.
  8. A civil resister will not salute the Union Flag, nor will he insult it or officials, English or Indian.
  9. In the course of the struggle if anyone insults an official or commits an assault upon him, a civil resister will protect such official or officials from the insult or attack even at the risk of his life.

Gandhi distinguished between his idea of satyagraha and the passive resistance of the west. Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi, who developed Satyagraha Satyagraha (Sanskrit: सत्याग्रह satyāgraha) is a philosophy and practice of nonviolent resistance developed by Mohandas K. Gandhi. ... Ahimsa (Devanagari: ; IAST ) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... “Union Jack” redirects here. ... Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi, who developed Satyagraha Satyagraha (Sanskrit: सत्याग्रह satyāgraha) is a philosophy and practice of nonviolent resistance developed by Mohandas K. Gandhi. ... Nonviolent resistance (or nonviolent action) is the practice of applying power to achieve socio-political goals through symbolic protests, economic or political noncooperation, civil disobedience and other methods, without the use of physical violence. ...


Examples of civil disobedience

India (indios)

Civil disobedience has served as a major tactic of nationalist movements in former colonies in Africa and Asia prior to their gaining independence. Most notably Mahatma Gandhi developed civil disobedience as an anti-colonialist tool. Gandhi said "Civil disobedience is the inherent right of a citizen to be civil, implies discipline, thought, care, attention and sacrifice". Gandhi learned of Civil Disobedience from Thoreau's classic essay, which caused Gandhi to adopt a non-violent approach. Eugène Delacroixs Liberty Leading the People, symbolising French nationalism during the July Revolution 1830. ... This article is about a type of political territory. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: , Hindi: , IAST: mohandās karamcand gāndhī, IPA: ) (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948), was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement. ...


South Africa (Africans of Color)

Both Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Steve Biko advocated civil disobedience. The result can be seen in such notable events as the 1989 Purple Rain Protest, and the Cape Town Peace March which defied apartheid. Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 7 October 1931) is a South African cleric and activist who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. ... ‹ The template below is being considered for deletion. ... Also, Purple Rain Revolt; and Purple Rain Rebellion On Sept 2, 1989, four days before South Africas racially segregated parliament held its elections, Burg Street in Cape Town ran purple. ... On September 12, 1989, 30 000 Capetonians marched in support of peace and the end of apartheid. ... A segregated beach in South Africa, 1982. ...


Civil disobedience in the United States

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, a leader of the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s also adopted civil disobedience techniques, and antiwar activists both during and after the Vietnam War have done likewise. Since the 1970s, pro-life or anti-abortion groups have practiced civil disobedience against the U.S. government over the issue of legalized abortion. From the 1970s onward, various groups and organizations such as the Puerto Rican Independence Party, have successfully performed civil disobedience campaigns to stop military war games staged in areas close to civilian populations living in the islands of Culebra and Vieques, Puerto Rico. See, for example, the Navy-Vieques protests. “MLK” redirects here. ... Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes or gaining advantage. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... The Puerto Rican Independence Party (Spanish: Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño, PIP) is a Puerto Rican political party that campaigns for the independence of Puerto Rico from the United States. ... Vieques is an island-municipality of Puerto Rico. ... The Navy-Vieques protests is the name given by English-speaking media to a series of protests starting in 1999 on the Puerto Rican island-municipality of Vieques, against the United States Navy and Marine Corps (USMC) use of the island for bombing target practices. ...


Civil disobedience and religion

Many who practice civil disobedience do so out of religious faith, and clergy often participate in or lead actions of civil disobedience. A notable example is Philip Berrigan, a Roman Catholic priest who was arrested dozens of times in acts of civil disobedience in antiwar protests. Also, groups like Soulforce, who favor non-discrimination and equal rights for gays and lesbians, have engaged in acts of civil disobedience to change church positions and public policy. This article discusses faith in a religious context. ... Philip Berrigan Philip Berrigan (October 5, 1923 – December 6, 2002) was an internationally renowned American peace activist, Christian anarchist and former Roman Catholic priest. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ...


See also

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862; born David Henry Thoreau[1]) was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, and philosopher who is best known for Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance... Civil Disobedience is an essay by Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. ... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: , Hindi: , IAST: mohandās karamcand gāndhī, IPA: ) (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948), was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement. ... Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi, who developed Satyagraha Satyagraha (Sanskrit: सत्याग्रह satyāgraha) is a philosophy and practice of nonviolent resistance developed by Mohandas K. Gandhi. ... “MLK” redirects here. ... Martin Luther King Jr The Letter from Birmingham Jail or Letter from Birmingham City Jail, commonly but incorrectly rendered Letter from a Birmingham Jail, was an open letter on April 16, 1963 written by Martin Luther King, Jr. ... Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist and seamstress whom the U.S. Congress dubbed the Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement. Parks is famous for her refusal on December 1, 1955 to obey bus driver James Blake... The Abalone Alliance (1977 – 1985) was a nonviolent civil disobedience group formed to shut down the Pacific Gas and Electric Companys Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo (on the central California coast). ... The Clamshell Alliance was an organization formed in 1976 in order to oppose construction of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Station in New Hampshire. ... Christian anarchism is any of several traditions which combine anarchism with Christianity. ... A conscientious objector is an individual whose personal beliefs are incompatible with military service, or sometimes with any role in the armed forces. ... Direct action is a form of political activism which seeks immediate remedy for perceived ills, as opposed to indirect actions such as electing representatives who promise to provide remedy at some later date. ... A draft dodger, draft evader or draft resister, is a person who avoids (dodges) or otherwise violates the conscription policies of the nation in which he or she is a citizen or resident, by leaving the country, going into hiding, attempting to fraudulently obtain conscientious objector status, or by open... Righteous Among the Nations (Hebrew: חסידי אומות העולם, Hasidei Umot HaOlam), in contemporary usage, is a term often used to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust in order to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. ... Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a town and commune in the Haute-Loire département in the Auvergne région of southern France. ... Insubordination is the act of a subordinate deliberately disobeying a lawful order. ... A hunt saboteur is a type of animal rights or animal welfare activist who believes in direct intervention to prevent hunters from killing or hurting an animal. ... Non conformism is the term of KKK ... Nonviolence (or non-violence) can be both a political strategy or moral philosophy that rejects the use of violence in efforts to attain social or political change. ... Nonviolent resistance (or nonviolent action) is the practice of applying power to achieve socio-political goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, and other methods, without using violence. ... Sousveillance as a Situationist critique of surveillance. ... For other uses, see Surveillance (disambiguation). ... A tax resister resists or refuses payment of a tax because of opposition to the institution collecting the tax, or to some of that institution’s policies. ... Tree sitting is a form of environmentalist civil disobedience in which a protester sits in a tree, usually on a small platform built for the purpose, to protect it from being cut down (speculating that loggers will not endanger human lives by cutting an occupied tree). ... Trident Ploughshares is an internationally recognised anti-nuclear-weapons group, with the aim of beating swords into ploughshares, specifically by actively trying to disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapons system, in a non-violent, open, peaceful and fully accountable manner. ...

External links

  • Pensions for Peace ~ ACT for the Earth
  • Civil Disobedience, by Peter Suber. From Philosophy of Law: An Encyclopedia, edited by Christopher Berry Gray, Garland Pub. Co., 1999, vol. I, pp. 110-113
  • On Resistance to Civil Government by Henry David Thoreau
  • Manifesto against conscription and the military system, with an updated list of all signatories from 1993 to 2005
  • ReclaimingQuarterly.org features photo-coverage of contemporary civil disobedience actions
  • DirectAction.org offers online organizing resources for civil disobedience
  • [1] a project of the Traprock Peace Center

  Results from FactBites:
 
Guide to Civil Disobedience : Resources : Wage Peace Campaign : AFSC (856 words)
Civil disobedience is a refusal to obey an order from a civil authority or public nonviolent violation of a legal prohibition.
As understood by the American Friends Service Committee, civil disobedience is a conscience-based, heartfelt action which, while in violation of the law, reflects and draws on the religious convictions that are the base of AFSC's service and which witnesses to AFSC perspectives on major societal issues.
When contemplating civil disobedience, therefore, an individual should be aware of its potential for good or ill, and before undertaking it, carefully examine his or her options, motivations, and attitudes.
civil disobedience - Encyclopedia.com (1387 words)
Practitioners of civil disobediance basing their actions on moral right and usually employ the nonviolent technique of passive resistance in order to bring wider attention to the injustice.
The philosophy and tactics of civil disobedience have been used by Quakers and other religious groups, the British labor movement, suffragists, feminists, adherents of prohibition, pacifists and other war resisters (see conscientious objector), supporters of the disabled, and a wide variety of other dissenters.
Civil disobedience in the United States traditionally has been associated with those on the left of the political spectrum, as were most participants in the anti-Vietnam War movement, but toward the end of the 20th cent.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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