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  • The Role of Civil Disobedience in Democracy

    It is an attempt to influence society to accept a dissenting point of view. Although it usually uses tactics of nonviolence, it is more than mere passive resistance since it often takes active forms such as illegal street demonstrations or peaceful occupations of premises. When a person's conscience and the laws clash, that person must follow his or her conscience. The stress on personal conscience and on the need to act now rather than to wait for legal change are recurring elements in civil disobedience movements. The U.S. Bill of Rights asserts that the authority of a government is derived from the consent of the governed, and whenever any form of government becomes destructive, it is the right and duty of the people to alter or abolish it.

    Throughout the history of the U.S., civil disobedience has played a significant role in many of the social reforms that we all take for granted today. Some of the most well known of these are:

    The Boston Tea Party --

    The Women's Suffrage Movement
    Abolition of slavery -- including Harriet Tubman's underground railway, giving sanctuary, and other actions which helped to end slavery.

    The Civil Rights Movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr.
    The Anti-Nuclear Movement

    The decision to non-cooperate is a difficult choice to make, since it subjects those who choose it to greater possibilities for pain and punishment, and many times is misunderstood by law enforcement. In addition, it poses a dilemma for protesters who would prefer to communicate with the arresting officer, making it more difficult to communicate while being dragged across the ground.

    Reasons some protesters choose non-cooperation:
    1) Moral conviction: It would be wrong to be an accomplice to a procedure that supports what is morally unacceptable.
    2) To increase the likelihood that all protesters are treated equally: Refusing to give names so that everyone committing the same act will be treated equally and fairly in jail and in sentencing. Refusing citation, bail, fines or probation keeps protesters together, increasing the potential for collective bargaining.
    3) To extend the action: Going limp at arrest impedes the removal of the protesters, prolonging the disruption of business as usual.
    4) To demonstrate that the criminal justice system is part of the problem: It may be a corporation that is damaging the environment, jeopardizing all our lives and our children's future, but it is the criminal justice system that is legitimizing and supporting it.

    Civil disobedience is often an effective means of changing laws and protecting liberties. It also embodies an important moral concept that there are times when law and justice do not coincide and that to obey the law at such times can be an abdication of ethical responsibility. The choice of civil disobedience and non-cooperation is not for everyone. We all choose to do what feels right to us personally. However, it is hoped that this article will make such a choice more understandable to those who have wondered about this form of protest.

  • Pro to why civil disobedience is good/ morally justified

    The first law of the Constitution states that we have the right to free speech. Martin Luther King Jr. Said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

    Throughout history, acts of civil disobedience famously have helped to force a reassessment of society's moral parameters. The Boston Tea Party, the suffragette movement, the resistance to British rule in India led by Gandhi, the US civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and others, the resistance to apartheid in South Africa, student sit-ins against the Vietnam War, the democracy movement in Myanmar/Burma led by Aung San Suu Kyi, to name a few, are all instances where civil disobedience proved to be an important mechanism for social change. The ultimate impact of more recent acts of civil disobedience – anti-abortion trespass demonstrations or acts of disobedience taken as part of the environmental movement and animal rights movement – remains to be seen.
    What is civil disobedience, and why can you do it?
    Civil disobedience is the refusal of obeying laws(can be a tax)without violence. Laws might be unfair or unjust which involves civil disobedience. This is nonviolent causing zero deaths. Some people may say that civil disobedience causes violence, but a civil rebellion is different than civil disobedience. This is a perfectly legal protest, which is not included with violence.

    The Government
    Democratic Governments accommodate civil disobedience. The first law states that in the USA, you are allowed to say what you want to say. In the 1960s, John and Mary Beth Tinker, wore black armbands to protest against the Vietnam War. They were suspended until they stopped wearing those. Their parents filed a lawsuit, which was sent to the Supreme Court in 1969. The Supreme Court Justices agreed with their parents in a 7-2 decision. This example shows that America, the greatest democracy, accommodates civil disobedience.
    The People
    People fight for a cause in a civil disobedience. They fight for what they believe. Many people are forced to do dangerous things by the law like getting drafted in the army, and they have no reason not to protest. Martin Luther King Jr. And Thomas Jefferson have spoken out against unjust laws. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill have used civil disobedience for a good cause with Jews. If they hadn’t fought, Adolf Hitler and Imperial Japan would have taken over the USA for good, causing Jews not being here, and Europe would be in peril. Also, Rosa Parks protested when black people had to give up their seats for white people.
    Dictatorship countries don’t allow civil disobedience, and those leaders are hated across the whole country like Hitler and Jong-un.
    In conclusion, civil disobedience should be morally justified. Civil disobedience is perfectly legal, therefore it’s the first amendment. Martin Luther King Jr. And Thomas Jefferson spoke with civil disobedience. Supreme court justices speak with it as well. No one has no reason to not protest against an unjust law.

  • Yes it is.

    Yes civil disobedience is morally justified.In The United States of America we have this thing called freedom of speech, which makes things like protesting and speaking your mind justified. Using freedom of speech does not cause any harm to anyone as long as they are not being physical about it.

  • Civil disobedience is sometimes necessary

    The moral justifications of civil disobedience are usually present in order to make the act acceptable. When the citizens of a country view their government as being unfair or corrupt, civil disobedience is sometimes necessary in order to correct society for the better. Therefore, if there is a concrete reasoning behind why the civil disobedience is taking place, then it is usually justified.

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  • Why civil disobedience shouldn’t be morally justified

    Civil disobedience should not be morally justified. It leads to violence, and can possibly start to kill people. When civilians protest against people who are given titles, it is very disrespectful. Many countries don’t even allow civil disobedience in the first place.
    It becomes violent and illegal
    Although every human in the United States has the right to protest, we must take into account the safety of people. In Charlottesville, a peaceful protest became violent after one terrorist killed an innocent person. The civilians in the disobedience have the intent to frustrate the government. Civil disobedience also leads to undesired, severe economic effects. Protestors of the Blacks Lives Matter movement have blocked highways and disrupted businesses around the country, causing store owners, shoppers, trucks, cars, and municipal/emergency services to be stuck in the chaos, thus resulting in financial losses and loss of productivity.
    Furthermore, civil disobedience leads to outright destruction when a minority of protesters turn violent. We saw this in Ferguson, Missouri when riots occurred in conjunction with protests. 17 businesses were damaged to the point that they were deemed unsafe for use following the riots. Total damages amounted to $4.6 million. Civil disobedience is disruptive to society. The idea of slavery was against the Constitution and has created racism and violence. In conclusion, civil disobedience should not be morally justified. It encourages violence and is disruptive because of the protests.

  • Civil disobedience brings more chaos

    Although every human has the right to freedom of speech, opinions etc. We should also take into account the safety of those around us. If civilians take their disobedience to an extreme level such as riots and rebellions, then the innocent people around us will be affected. It's time for people to accept decisions made by their respective governments. If they are unhappy about a certain law then it could be handled in a more civilized and safe way i.e. through petitions or lobbying or other forms of safe negotiations.

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