With the things that are currently going on across America we have discovered an ugly side to our society. People are not willing to wait for peaceful talk, elections to initiate change or other avenues that lead to non-violence. They turn to the streets and face the police head on with rocks, bottles and guns. They march their home turf with baseball bats and clubs to smash the windows of the businesses of their neighbors in the attempt to solidify their point.
It doesn’t appear civil disobedience is the trendy thing
The United States has a long history of civil disobedience as a means to protest injustice. Sometimes civil disobedience takes the form of a peaceful protest. Other times, it takes the form of disobeying an unjust law. The right to civil disobedience has been acknowledged by prominent thinkers in every generation:
- “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.”
- “Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.”
- Albert Einstein
- “It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”
One of the earliest and most iconic acts of civil disobedience in America was the Boston Tea Party. On 16 Dec. 1773, “a group of Massachusetts Patriots, protesting the monopoly on American tea importation recently granted by Parliament to the East India Company, seized 342 chests of tea in a midnight raid on three tea ships and threw them into the harbor.” The action was illegal, but essentially peaceful. It was a protest of unjust taxes and of restrictions on commerce imposed on the colonies by the British government.
Change isn’t change if they have to get it done through force and violence. It is breaking the law.