Monday, March 2, 2015

Engaging In Civil Disobedience Or Civil Resistance

The theory and practice of nonviolent direct action, disrupting the system enough to risk arrest, to challenge war and warmaking, are a living, evolving issue. Some frequent arrest-riskers have experienced a growing frustration with the inaccuracy of the still widely used wording "civil disobedience". "Disobedience" means breaking a specific law which is or embodies the problem, such as African Americans breaking racist Jim Crow municipal ordinances by sitting in at lunch counters legally prohibited from serving them, or Indians processing their own salt from sea water or spinning thread and weaving khadi cloth instead of buying them as legally required from the occupying British. Peace and anti-war activists contend that what governments and corporations do to prepare and perpetrate war is illegal, and they consider their own actions of civil resistance to the governments or corporations as obeying higher laws, be they international treaties and human rights agreements, or national constitutions, or religious tenets, or all of those. Civil resistance actionists uphold the Nuremberg principals that citizens have responsibilities to resist illegal government crimes of aggression, act out of the necessity to technically break a minor trespass or municipal order rule to prevent a muc h more serious tragedy or crime.


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