Civil disobedience: Is civil disobedience acceptable without providing public notice?

  • Civil Disobedience Doesn't Have to be Planned

    Civil disobedience is what it is, whether it is planned or spontaneous. The act of purposely hindering the normal life of humans in a free society to make a point has been a tradition for thousands of years. From Jesus' overturning the tax collectors' tables to Occupy Wall Street, civil disobedience has many forms. Planning an event or spontaneously disobeying is equally as acceptable when it comes to making such a point.

  • Yes, civil disobedience is acceptable without providing public notice

    The reason I believe that it is acceptable is because if a person thinks a law is unjust, he has a complete right to act out against that law regardless of what his consequences might be. For example, in the case of Rosa Parks, she gave no public notice of her intent to act out against Birmingham's segregation law. An act of civil disobedience without public notice may lead to others committing the act with public notice.

  • Can't Disobey a Law Under the Radar, and Call it Civil Disobedience

    I suppose it depends how one interprets the question, but it seems the poser was asking if one can believe they are engaging in civil disobedience if they break a law surreptitiously. On that basis, I say no. The intent of civil disobedience is to openly disobey a law one sees as unjust or immoral, with the goal of having the law overturned as expeditiously as possible. This means law enforcement and the general public must be aware of the infraction. Depending on the context, one need not provide formal advance notice to the public. Particularly since doing so is beyond the means of many. But at some point, one must “go public” with the act as best they can. Committing the act alone may provide adequate public notice, if someone records it and publishes in generally available media. In other cases, an individual must make some extra effort at notification. For instance, I intend to disobey the federal government’s health insurance commandment. I will not purchase a Democrat-party-approved health insurance plan and I will not pay the tax/fine/penalty. I recently sent letters to the President and my congressional delegation stating so. But those notices aren't public, so I have also stated my intentions online. This post is one such statement. (I have also made attempts to publish in newspapers, but have been unsuccessful thus far.) For the record, My name is William P. Corish and I reside in Linden, Virginia.

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