society’s problem today, according to Zinn, is not civil disobedience but civil obedience. Nationwide protests, typically including blockades, gained major publicity in Phoenix, Arizona in 2018 with one goal: get rid of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Good work strike – when people support each other in solidarity by providing goods or services for free. Power concedes nothing without a demand. Resistance to Civil Government, called Civil Disobedience for short, is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. Within months, their numbers grew into the hundreds, all refusing to pay their student loan debt to the college who had swindled them out of effective programming and job placements. If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. The group vowed a campaign of civil disobedience in an effort to gain a more democratic government. The housing shortage that resulted gave the landlords the opportunity to 'profiteer' by rent-racking and evicting all who couldn't pay.Action and result: Mary Barbour led a group of 20,000 tenants on a rent strike. Issues of concern include land rights (the need for regulation to prevent land-grabs by Western companies), the need to legalize direct sales of farm produce and a call for a ban on genetically modified organisms. Similarly banks have been clogged up by customers bringing in quantities of change for processing. Sometimes you have to break a law to make a law. Work-to-rule – employers often wish to speed up tasks by cutting corners, working strictly to the rules (In a post office dispute, workers checked every single package had the correct postage). Local businessmen stopped trading with him, and the local postman refused to deliver mail. 2013 – Disabled People Against the Cuts and the Royal Courts. Stores have been brought to a standstill by several customers checking through a trolley full of items, only to say at the end they can’t pay and don’t want the goods. Issue: In 1915 during the First World War huge rent increases took place as workers were drafted into Glasgow to work in the munitions factories. Thunberg became aware of scientist warnings about climate change and took a stand by skipping school in protest. Enric Duran, a Barcelona-based anti-banking system activist took loans of 500,000 euro from 39 European banks, through 68 loan and credit-card operations, with no intention of paying them back. These groups were pro workers' rights and not anti-technology as they are often historically smeared. 2), passive resistance. 7. Citizens Debt audits have been used successfully in countries like Iceland as part of a refusal to pay off toxic debt taken on by Governments from banks. Fifteen students originally banded together in 2015 and refused to repay their student loan debt to Corinthian. Simultaneous protests were held in cities around the world. Each example of an act of civil disobedience from modern times provides insight on the different ways to effect change and how successful they are. Even with new rule, protestors continued their efforts to gain a better standard of living for the people. While Shiva’s efforts and movement didn’t result in widespread agricultural law and practice changes around the world, she did help create dozens of seed banks to help farmers and farming in India. 1. 1999 Genetix Snowball - the fight against GM crops. Civil disobedience is an act of refusal by a large group of people against certain laws. It defined discrimination as "less favourable treatment". This meant they could undersell American merchants and monopolise the colonial tea trade. A large group of Hondurans began a caravan to the U.S. late in 2018. Shiva and her followers argue that giant seed companies are killing farming, which is bad for all people. Action and result: 3 ships were boarded by fifty men and the tea was thrown into the harbour- spurring similar acts of resistance across other seaports and helping to spark the revolutionary war between America and Britain. Grow Heathrow is under threat of eviction since August 2014; the squatters are seeking to buy the land. Barclays bank was known overseas in the financial industry in the 1980s as 'Boerclaysbank', due to its continued involvement in South Africa during the apartheid regime. The teens wanted a chance to speak about gun reform. Civil disobedience can be defined in a number of different ways: in its most raw form, “civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest because of moral objections... How Does Civil Disobedience Work Civil Disobedience Civil Law Government 3 Pages According to Thoreau, a citizen has no responsibility to support its government when the government does wrong. Civil disobedience has been observed in some form or the other since centuries. What's the system? Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws, demands, orders or commands of a government. Protests in Phoenix continued into 2019. They notified the local press and as a result were met and had scuffles with game keepers and then the police; five men were subsequently jailed. Over 150 tractors blockaded the A2 motorway into Warsaw and hundreds more continue to close major roads and picket government offices in other regions. Action and result: Also known as the Salt Satyagraha, this was an important part of the Indian independence movement. In Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau he continues to inspire us today through his radical thoughts by the use of imagery and diction. Types of Civil Disobedience The following are suggestive categories of disobedience to civil authority, drawn from the experience of Friends, the AFSC, and kindred groups or movements. In 1965, the black community of Alabama decided to hold a march to protest about the killing of a protester, but Governor Wallace refused to allow the march. Social protests can take on many forms and evolve with the times. Protestors including Disabled People Against the Cuts and UKuncut, closed down the road outside the Royal Courts of Justice as part of an ongoing struggle. According to Merriam-Webster, Civil Disobedience is the refusal to obey laws as a way of forcing the government to do or change something. The project aims to return the Berkeley Nurseries site back to its intended purpose – a thriving market garden that will provide locally produced, organic fruit and veg as well as a venue for new and interesting projects and workshops. The farmers are vowing to continue the struggle until the government agrees to enter talks with the unions and commits to addressing what the farmers see as a crisis in Polish agriculture. However, it was unpopular from the moment she proposed it, and she met resistance from both the people and her party. Rather than remain in a country they found to be ridden with poverty and violence, thousands decided to leave. Kaepernick did succeed in bringing awareness to his issue, but it may have cost him his career in professional football. The land was privately held and often used as hunting grounds for the wealthy.Action and result: In 1932 over 400 people from Manchester and Sheffield participated in a mass trespass on Kinder Scout in the Peak District. Rather than resorting to violence, it was agreed everyone in the locality should shun him. In the U.S., for example, a protest with a permit is legal while many other attempts to break laws, even nonviolently, are still illegal. The financial crisis of 2008 has been used to justify ideologically motivated austerity measures in the UK, with disabled people bearing the brunt of savage cuts to funding support. This study guide for Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau looks at the key concepts and main ideas to help you get a deeper understanding of Civil Disobedience. In the north this manifested itself as the Luddite uprisings, destroying machines in factories and in the south, the Swing Riots breaking threshing machines. Issue: Margaret Thatcher was reelected for her third term in 1987. Gandhi stated "Civil disobedience is the inherent right of a citizen to be civil, implies discipline, thought, care, attention and sacrifice". Electronic civil disobedience often involves computers and the Internet and may also be known as hacktivism. Instead, they were met with hostility and turned away. After a deadly mass shooting at their school in Parkland, Florida in 2018, 40 high school students walked into Florida’s state capitol building uninvited. Corinthian Colleges closed hundreds of their locations in 2015, leaving thousands of students with loan debt. Powers that be have attempted to suppress or manage into ineffectiveness marches and occupations. noun the refusal to obey certain laws or governmental demands for the purpose of influencing legislation or government policy, characterized by the employment of such nonviolent techniques as boycotting, picketing, and nonpayment of taxes.Compare noncooperation (def. A flat tax means that everybody, regardless of wealth, has to pay the same amount. Local ranchers, farmers, and Native Americans whose land would be affected by the construction of this pipeline began to voice their opposition. Action and result: In Scotland, 880,000 people out of a total 4 million refused to pay the tax. “After having identified laws for seed slavery, let us commit ourselves to not obey these unethical and brute laws which threaten life on earth, including our lives and the lives of our children. One of the first practitioners was Henry David Thoreau whose 1849 essay, Civil Disobedience, is considered a defining exposition of the modern form of this type of action. The students believe that they have both ethical and legal grounds for their debt strike and they are also making a broader statement about the trillion dollars of student debt owed throughout the country. Actions included occupying banks and blockading planned evictions. As harvests had been poor, protesting tenants demanded a twenty five percent reduction in rent, which was refused. It was a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India, and triggered the wider Civil Disobedience Movement. Deliberate debt creation and redistribution – modern Robin Hood. This started a new movement that lead to the 'Right To Roam' Countryside and Rights of Way Act of 2000. - Ada Colau, PAH. Andrew Ross, in Creditocracy, makes the case for debt refusal, including student loans, credit card debt and mortgages. "We don't pick up weapons to kill people to start the revolution. Examples include bus workers letting passengers on for free or café workers giving our free coffee. A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle. Actions include disrupting trade, boycotts of products and deliberate damaging of goods. This act gave a new right of access to most areas of open country in England and Wales. How women used civil disobedience to change American politics. Main ideas and takeaways about Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience. 2009 - 2013 PAH Eviction resistance Spain, PAH (Mortgage Holders Resistance in English) responded to a national housing crisis through grassroots organising and direct action. A controversial mining law which would allow for large-scale, open pit metal mining, has been opposed by days of protest including blockades that shut down highways throughout the country's Southern Andean highlands and Amazon rainforest. MYM provides people with the information and confidence they need to make informed decisions regarding the types of financial institutions they want to support. Issue: In 1970, some Irish pubs refused to allow women to enter at all, some allowed women only if accompanied by a man and many refused to serve women pints of beer. In  2010 Transition Heathrow members swooped on an abandoned market garden site in Sipson; one of the villages to be completely tarmaced to make way for a third runway at Heathrow. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A two-tier approach was adopted, which meant that some took action immediately (40), while others declared they were willing to become tax protesters once the total number of members reached 500. She has succeeded in motivating other senior citizens to protest too. Thousands of Polish family farmers turned out to protest in over 50 locations across the country in 2015. At the same time, there are two most common types of civil disobedience acts. civil disobedience 'Excessive Force' Used On Peaceful Protesters At Trump Photo-Op, National Guard Major Says The officer's account of action against Americans exercising their First Amendment rights in D.C.'s Lafayette Square directly contradicts William Barr. Led by 5 “ordinary” women the Guardian said have been “condemned as eco-terrorists, scientific hooligans and farmland anarchists. It is certainly worthwhile to honor the tragically slain students and teachers, but only at School B can students’ actions be defined as civil disobedience. More than 7,000 migrants arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border in November 2018. Legislation and pressure to stop marches and occupations have included: Laws to stop more than 12 Suffragettes gathering in Parliament Square, London to petition the Government for votes for women. In one instance, Nell McCafferty led a group of 30 women who ordered, and were served, 30 brandies. "Sooner than part from the mountain, I think I would rather be dead" from 'The Manchester Rambler' by Ewan MacColl. A further 162 were arrested in 2015 and by June 2015 over 97000 people had pledged their willing to participate in peaceful actions which might lead to arrest. Following police brutality at a march in London, a leading British newspaper described the protest as “violent”- which discredited the protestors, even though it was known the violence came from the police. Captain Charles Boycott, was a land agent in County Mayo, Ireland, who was subject to social ostracism organized by the Irish Land League in 1880. (Whereas money was no object in policising the Occupiers in the bullet above!). The action has been recaptured in the film Ghandi. The movement that was kick started by this action led to the creation of our National Parks after World War II. Civil disobedience refers to “nonviolent opposition to a government policy or law by refusing to comply with it.” These famous civil rights leaders paved the way for modern examples of civil disobedience in the 21st century. The two sides signed a power-sharing agreement late in 2019. Boycott then attempted to evict eleven tenants from the land. "We wanted to put an end to this violence that is leaving thousands of families on the streets while financial institutions with serious responsibility for the current crisis accumulate thousands of empty flats, waiting to be able to speculate with them again." 30 tonnes of rubbish were cleared and the site has been transformed from a derelict mess into a beacon of community strength and sustainable living. With thanks to Robin Grey from “Three Acres and A Cow” for supporting the development of this history section, Wikipedia and this excellent database: http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/. Sabotage of trade and business activity Actions include disrupting trade, boycotts of products and deliberate damaging of goods. She has been arrested multiple times for her participation in peaceful protests, but shows no signs of stopping. When the authorities tried to crack down on this, workers in local factories staged a mass walk out. Her policy was to levy a flat tax that she called a “Community Charge,” although it became popularly known as the poll tax. He writes Civil Disobedience to say how it is a person’s duty to not be controlled by the government if their morals do not support what the government does. The 60th anniversary of this event in 1992 was celebrated with another mass trespass. In 2008, plans were submitted to build the Keystone XL pipeline. All Rights Reserved, People with placards and posters on global strike for climate change. Salt lawstaxed the production of Indian salt so that the country had to import British salt. Types of Civil Disobedience: Individualistic-Often dramatic, and in accordance with an individual’s own ‘higher law,’ individualistic Civil Disobedience is an action of one or a few who find a present practice or law against their beliefs—religious, secular, or otherwise—and take action. It was only in 1928 that UK women were finally granted voting rights equal to men. At what point do these avenues become criminal behavior? Issues surrounding immigrant detention centers and practices continue to be of concern to many. International days of action have been organised as well as ongoing civil disobedience. Other demonstrations culminated in 200,000 people marching in London against the tax- the biggest march that decade. 2008 - ongoing Ecuador – mining law protests. Bree Newsome of Charlotte, N.C., climbs a … When the pint was refused, they drank the brandies and refused to pay as their order was not served. In several NFL games, Kaepernick refused to stand during the singing of the national anthem in protest of the wrongful treatment of African Americans and minority groups. Traditional strikes can be the least effective if labour laws or zero hours contracts allow replacement of workers or actions to be taken against the organising union. Practitioners of nonviolent struggle have an entire arsenal of “nonviolent weapons” at their disposal. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. A student boycott, which began in the 1970’s of the bank led to a drop in its share of the UK student market from 27 per cent to 15 per cent by the time it pulled out in 1986. 1811-1830 Luddite Uprisings and the Swing RiotsIssue: The introduction of free market economics coupled with a massive erosion of workers’ rights and the resultant breakdown of their communities in the late 1700s and early 1800sAction and result: Groups of people across England targeted the most exploitative employers by machine breaking. Current: Seed swapping and saving - Vandana Shiva, Renowned environmental and agricultural activist Vandana Shiva has called on called on citizens and farmers to ignore laws, which she says will rob farmers of the right to save and exchange seed, and further corporatize food systems. We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers. Breaking laws to break the glass ceiling. While the concept of civil disobedience has been around for centuries, it hasn’t been called civil disobedience until recently. Other options exist: Slowdowns- staying on the job but drastically slowing down effectiveness. In 2002, the Equal Status Act banned gender discrimination in the provision of goods and services. A real revolution.”. The tax was stopped and Mrs Thatcher resigned. While the school skipping protests were her calling card, Thunberg gained opportunities to speak to major world leaders. To get back to the founding principles, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence, Zinn argues that “we are going to need to go outside the law, to stop obeying the laws that demand killing or that allocate wealth the way it has been done, or In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of … The revolution is really easy to do these days. There are two types of civil disobedience as vi ewed by Quigley & Bahmueller (1991); individual or moral disobedience and organized or social civil disobedience. Famous advocates of civil disobedience include Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau. Payment for protest- the Campaign against Climate Change march was asked to pay a private security firm to police a peaceful protest march, having been told the met Police could no longer provide road management services. Her efforts brought the dangers of climate change into the forefront of discussions and directly resulted in actions like the U.K. passing a law to eliminate its carbon footprint. There is a long history of civil disobedience in the United States. However, the total never exceeded 200 – this was before the days of social media! This event resulted in the overthrowing of the president. 2010 - French footballer starts run on the banks, Thousands of French protesters took up Eric Cantona, the former Man United footballer's call for a mass cash withdrawal. In his essay, Thoreau observesthat only a very few people – heroes, martyrs, patriots,reformers in the best sense – serve their society with theirconsciences, and so necessarily resist society for the most part, andare commonly treated by it as enemies. They are told by the state exactly what to do. Copyright © 2020 LoveToKnow. America's biggest multinational biotech companies have sued them for millions in damages, and supermarket bosses want to ban them from the soft fruits aisle.” Their actions to remove GM crop trials and share information in a toolkit on how to do that, were supported by Anthony Worrall-Thompson and Prince Charles. The land had previously been problematic –it was often a site of anti-social behavior. (Also, enjoy this film trailer). Ronald Dworkin held that there are three types of civil disobedience: "Integrity-based" civil disobedience occurs when a citizen disobeys a law she or he feels is immoral, as in the case of abolitionists disobeying the fugitive slave laws by refusing to turn over escaped slaves to authorities. While the results of the marches are difficult to see, since 2017 there have been record numbers of women elected for government positions across the U.S. Also, landmark legislation regarding women’s reproductive rights are at the forefront of U.S. law debates. Her goals were simple: educate people about the importance of farming, saving and exchanging seeds, and opposing genetically modified crops. Debt refusal is growing as both an idea and a movement. It’s hard to sack someone for following the rules! Thoreau,for his … It can be through total disobedience, non-payment of taxes, non-payment of mortgages. The first group is soldiers or war type men, "the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc." From others, you can learn which strategies work and why. Fonda regularly participates in protests at the U.S. Capitol, calling for a large-scale reduction in the use of fossil fuels. The system is built on the power of the banks. In 2018, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg took one small action that launched her into becoming Time’s Person of the Year in 2019. Gandhi's defiance of British colonial laws over the empire's salt monopoly, beginning in March 1930, sparked a wave of civil disobedience that contributed to expelling the British empire. In Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau has inspired the message of freedom today and through many generations before by imagery, figurative language, and emotional appeal. He explains how and why he did it. Within weeks Britain's first Rent Act was passed, fixing rent at pre-war levels. Unofficial Marches, Occupations and Blockades. Types of civil disobedience are outlined below with examples of successful actions from the past, right up to current day actions. Frequently, the strikers were beaten and some were killed, but César Chávez never wavered from his belief in peaceful civil disobedience. Types of Modern Civil Disobedience Social protests can take on many forms and evolve with the times. Labour, rent resistance and the word “Boycott”. Mass Trespass and land rights protests. Partial obedience – After enduring four plagues, Pharaoh began telling Moses they could go – but … Types of civil disobedience are outlined below with examples of successful actions from the past, right up to current day actions. In 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a seat as an act of civil disobedience. Though some biographers opine that Gandhi learned of civil disobedience from Thoreau's classic essay, which he incorporated into his non-violent Satyagrahap… It never did and it never will. While the subject became a hot topic, ICE was not dismantled. It advocates the idea that people should not support any government attempting unjust actions. Vandana Shiva is an agricultural activist from India. — Carlos Alcala of West Sacramento chairs the Chicano Latino Caucus of the California Democratic Party. The concerted action taken against him meant that Boycott was unable to hire anyone to harvest the crops in his charge. By March 2014 there had been 398 arrests of peaceful protestors who had pledged to undertake acts of civil disobedience in their opposite to the Keystone Pipeline, which would transport the dirtiest tar sands energy across North America. Gandhi and his supporters began a long, expanding march to produce salt and transport it without paying the tax. 5. Issue: Britain’s East India Company was allowed to sell tea in North America without paying any of the regular taxes. In 2011, activists gathered for a two-week protest where they sat in front of the White House. Henry David Thoreau said, “Unjust laws exist. Civil disobedience can easily spiral out of control if there are some nonviolent or aggressive people among the protestors. In the U.S., for example, a protest with a permit is legal while many other attempts to break laws, even nonviolently, are still illegal. The tax was to be set in the 1989-1990 financial year in Scotland, and in the 1990-1991 financial year in England. The categories are titled by some immediate motivating factors, though all proceed from conscience and reflect the religious base from which AFSC service flows. Women wore pink hats meant to symbolize a crude comment by the President and voiced concerns about his views of women and other groups. The initial tactic was an occupation of the square near the military headquarters. As the migrant caravan travelled, people from other countries joined. Current – Polish farmers blockades calling for land rights. 1955 Rosa Parks and the American civil rights movement, Issue: “Jim Crow” laws segregated black people from white people and were a key part of preventing black people from full participation in American society. Civil disobedience has served as a major tactic of nationalist movements in former colonies in Africa and Asia prior to their gaining independence. Whilst some of the money was used to pay off part of the loans to keep the circus going, the majority of the money was used sponsoring activism and alternative social networks. Protestors were seeking Laws to protect water resources and consultation with indigenous communities over mining projects. The movement has prevented over 800 evictions across the country. In 2018, after bread and fuel subsidies were cut, protesters in Sudan began calling for the removal of their ruler. Sabotage of trade and business activity. Despite the short-term economic hardship to those undertaking this action, Boycott soon found himself isolated – his workers stopped work in the fields and stables, as well as in his house. In the United States, common types of civil disobedience include staging a sit-in at a government or corporate office, blocking traffic or doorways, or merely being in a location where the person is not allowed to be. Please email us if there are examples you especially like that we have missed! The Civil Disobedience Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, in the year 1930 was an important milestone in the history of Indian Nationalism.There are three … So it must be destroyed through the banks.”, "This means that the three million people with their placards on the streets, they go to the bank and they withdraw their money and the banks collapse. They then ordered one pint of Guinness. Civil disobedience current events provide hope that there is still room for nonviolent opposition in today’s complex world. Actress Jane Fonda, at age 81, got inspired by Greta Thunberg and started joining climate change protests in 2019. The second group is made up of lawyers and legislators and ministers who use their minds but still guided by the state. Civil disobedience, also known as passive or non-violent resistance, is defined as purposely disobeying the law based on moral or political principles. The term ‘civil disobedience’ was coined by Henry DavidThoreau in his 1848 essay to describe his refusal to pay the state polltax implemented by the American government to prosecute a war in Mexicoand to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law. From Ghandi to Martin Luther King Jr, people have used civil disobedience to enact change. 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To walk on land around their homes and areas of natural beauty.... Laws in the use of fossil fuels over 800 evictions across the country are! Of disorderly or criminal conduct. anti-colonialist tool provision of goods and services treatment. Discrimination as `` less favourable treatment '' movement has prevented over 800 evictions across the country nearly 3,000 in! It is the refusal to obey laws as a way of forcing government!