Monday, October 23, 2006


Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience has a long and noble tradition of publicly disobeying specific laws in order to change society. From Thoreau to Gandhi to King to Mandela, civil disobedience against unjust laws and illegitimate rulers was used to mobilize people based on moral convictions.

As such, their demonstrations--similar to some used to protest immoral laws and policies and conduct of our present administration--were prohibited by law, and they went to jail as a consequence. If we are to ever stop the monstrosities perpetrated by the US government, more of us will have to be willing to go to jail, suffer loss of employment, and perhaps die in our conflict with the state apparati.

Non-violence is a good policy, but our enemies don't always abide by it. People should discuss these things in advance of demonstrations and provide for group security should vigilantes or police run amok as they did in Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964 or Battle of Seattle 1999.

Social support networks leading to concerted actions are vital to sustaining long drawn-out struggles. Rent parties and shared child care and car pools help make it possible to take principled stands against tyranny. Without this kind of unity, we remain isolated and ineffective.


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