All through history governments and empires have been overthrown or defeated primarily by the violence of those who oppose them. This violence was usually successful however, there have been several situations, when violence failed, that protesters have had to turn to other methods. Non-violent protesting never seemed to be the right course of action until the ideology of Mohandas Gandhi spread and influenced successful protests across the world. Non-violent methods were successfully used, most notably, by Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela.
Civil disobedience and peaceful protest have been and caused a great impact on this country. The United States of America is something that has been greatly changed by these acts and continues to change due to the act of civil disobedience by the countries citizens. The use of peaceful protest and resistance to a law in a free society is something that impacts it for the better of the nation.
Civil disobedience plays an important and great role in the world. It is a major and effective part of many processes that combat injustice and immorality. In the past, it has helped countries gain independence, combatted racial segregation, affected countries’ involvement in wars and much more. People such as Parks and Gandhi have fought the immoral laws which led to thousands of millions of people having the opportunity to live a future without prejudice, discrimination and oppression because they held up their beliefs and demonstrated he importance of civil
From the Boston Tea Party of 1773, the Civil Rights Movement and the Pro-Life Movement of the 1960s, to the Tea Party Movement and Occupy Wall Street Movement of current times, “those struggling against unjust laws have engaged in acts of deliberate, open disobedience to government power to uphold higher principles regarding human rights and social justice” (DeForrest, 1998, p. 653) through nonviolent protests. Perhaps the most well-known of the non-violent protests are those associated with the Civil Rights movement. The movement was felt across the south, yet Birmingham, Alabama was known for its unequal treatment of blacks and became the focus of the Civil Rights Movement. Under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., president of
Since the dawn of human civilization, there have been governments. As a species, we have always attempted to efficiently and systematically maintain order. However it is not uncommon for those same governments to turn on the people it protects, as evidenced by the countless tyrants and authoritarian regimes that plague our history. When studying the complex subject of a free or oppressive government, it is rather interesting to look at the stark contrasts between how both of these organizations handle protests against their rules or laws. The authoritarian regime holds absolute power, meaning that nearly any form of complaint against their actions will be met with disregard, or even punishment. However in a free society in which the government must answer to the people, protests are the language of the discontent, signifying to a representative government that change is needed.
In the history of mankind, there has been multiple cases of violent and nonviolent opposition. The question is which of these is more appealing than the other. In violent protest, citizens protest against their opposition with violence such as; rioting, vandalizing, arson, assault, and many other forms of violence. In nonviolent protest citizens will protest their opposition peacefully through calm and non-violent protest. This is also known as civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is the most efficient form of protest in a society.
“If you make laws to keep us suppressed in a wrongful manner and without taking us into confidence, these laws will merely adorn the statue books. We will never obey them”(1). Mohandas Gandhi expressed this in his writing “On Nonviolent Resistance”. “Civil disobedience” is when people use their voice by protesting, non-violently, to stick up against unjust laws and unjust movements. The truths and values are proven and brought to attention in the writings of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Henry David Thoreau. Civil disobedience can be the solution to unjust laws and violence around the world.
Civil disobedience has been used by the people to get the attention of their government and to hopefully inspire change. Civil disobedience is an act of refusal by a large group of people against certain laws. From Ghandi to Martin Luther King Jr, people have used civil disobedience to enact change. While the concept of civil disobedience has been around for centuries, it hasn’t been called civil disobedience until recently. Protest, rallies, boycotting and worker strikes are forms of civil disobedience. Civil disobedience has been used for social change too. For example, the suffragettes, Rosa Parks and marches to legalize gay marriage have had social ramifications. Civil disobedience can be used to change laws, it publicizes important changes but it can be overshadowed by violence. Civil disobedience is a good way to change laws because it’s usually peaceful, brings attention to controversial laws and brings about social change.
From the time we are children and throughout the duration of our lives, we are told to abide by certain sets of rules. In most situations this is a perfectly acceptable expectation; speed limits, remaining quiet in libraries, and waiting until the age of twenty-one to drink are all reasonable things to ask of people. After all, these rules and laws are put in place to ensure a peaceful and safe society. However, when these rules begin to infringe upon the rights of certain groups, some citizens turn to civil disobedience as a form of protest. While some may argue that civil disobedience is nothing more than a violation of the law, it has also proven to have a positive impact on society, in more ways than one. Used by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin
Numerous times, protests start off as untroubling. In fact, they are beneficial to a certain extent, for they “provide a vent to society and also allow governments to understand better the issues their citizens are facing” (UN News Centre 2012). However, often these protests cross this blurry line and are rendered violent, causing danger to the American people. A recent example of a protest transforming into a riot was the Anti- Trump protest in Portland. These protests started off as being peaceful and allowed the protesters to express their opinions on the issue. However, the protesters eventually became so invested in the matter that it quickly mutated into a riot with people smashing windows, kicking cars, and vandalizing buildings (USA TODAY 2016) .This rapid change from peace to violence is a result of the blurry line between what is considered peaceful and what is considered violent. Due to the few restrictions on both the right to petition and assemble, what is perceived as violent is open to interpretation. More specifically, the protesters may not have deemed that kicking cars and smashing windows was violent; thus, they proceeded with these clearly dangerous activities anyways. Since the unlimited nature of both of these rights leaves a massive gray area in regards to what is
Peaceful resistance to laws positively impacts a free society. Rather than having violent movements and harming citizens, it is better to peacefully resist. Once a violence is used, the resistance to the law becomes nulled. People tend to not follow a violence protester. Once a violent riot starts, chaos is everywhere. People forget what they are truly fighting for. They unconsciously run away with the fear of getting harmed and dare not to go back. A peaceful resistance on the other hand leads citizens to join and support. People are able to see what they are fighting for and their real intentions. They are able to stand and cause no problem to people passing by as they are showing their support through silent voices. Many famous activists and leaders are for nonviolence. Mahatma Gandhi, a primary leader of India’s independence
unjust” (Banks 1). “Principle four – accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve the goal – this characterizes that nonviolent resistance is a willingness to accept suffering without retaliation, to accept blows from the opponent without striking back; accept the violence, if necessary; but to never inflict violence on another” (Banks 2). “Principle five – avoid internal violence of the spirit, as well as, external physical violence – a nonviolent resister not only refuses to fight or shoot his opponent, but he also refuses to hate him; at the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love for one another” (Banks 2). “Principle six – the universe is on the side of justice – this basic fact pertaining to nonviolent resistance is that it is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice which is positive peace, consequently, the believer in nonviolence has a deep faith in the future and therefore, can accept suffering without retaliation. There is a creative force in this universe, that by whatever name we decide to call it, it works to bring the disconnected aspects of reality into a harmonious whole; a universal wholeness for each of us to share with one another and that nonviolence is both the means and the end” (Banks 3). Dr. King also had a couple of
Throughout history, there have been many unfair rules all over the world. There are people who like the rules and people who dislike the rules. Sometimes everybody dislikes the rule and wants change in them. Whenever there is a request of change of the government, the people find many solutions/methods to make the change. One of the solutions is protesting and this method is commonly used for a change. There are two types of protests, violence, and nonviolence. One example of a violent protest is the Birmingham Civil Rights Protest in 1963 and an example of a nonviolent protest is Gandhi’s nonviolent protest for independence. It is believable that nonviolent protest if the most effective way to protest for society because it leaves a great
Civil Disobedience has been around for hundreds of years. This a practice first put into play by a man by the name of Henry David Thoreau who believed that if you didn’t agree with a rule then you should act against it in a nonviolent way, and be willing to accept any punishment that comes with it. His teachings were followed by famous activists such as Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr., and many others.