Civil Disobedience And The Civil Rights Movement

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We look at history and see that there are many cases that people have broken the law for a great cause. “ Non-violent civil disobedience is justified when there is a history of long- standing harm or violation of people’s fundamental rights, when legal and policy means have failed to reduce the harms and violations, and when there is little time remaining to address the problems” wrote University of New England professor John Lemons and Penn State 's Donald Brown in April in the online version of Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics ( Civil Disobedience Can Be Justified, 1 ). We see civil disobedience throughout our history books. From the Civil Rights movement to the end of the Vietnam War. So where do we draw the line in what we can do. “People have some general ideas of what does and does not constitute civil disobedience, they do not agree on specific cases. Therefore we cannot even agree as to what it is that we are trying to justify or condemn. “People from across the political spectrum love to praise civil disobedience, as long as we are talking about the past social movement,” argues U.S journalist Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red (When Breaking the Law Is Justified, 1). “For instance, on the new memorial honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his activism, a bill was passed labeling civil disobedience as terrorism if it is done by animal rights and environmental activists,” stated and Insider 's Account of a Social Movement under Siege. (When Breaking the Law Is Justified, 1). Sometimes the law is wrong and it is the only way to make an issue public . “Arnold Abbott handed out four plates of food to homeless people in a South Florida park. The police stopped the 90-year-old fr... ... middle of paper ... ...hysical violence against her. But quite obviously the gravest violence had been done to the girl. ( John Morreall, The justifiability of violent civil disobedience) We have a judicial system that protect our rights. As one of our amendments we have the freedom of speech. This amendment has played a major role in changing and forming the laws that we have now. All of our laws have gray areas that give us the options to modify them. Throughout our history, we have seen these laws come and go due to people standing up for what is right and knowing that the law of that time was not in their interest. In doing so they had to find different ways or means to be heard from our government system. Civil disobedience was one way in a nonviolent way to be heard and it has worked many times from the abolishment of slavery to the civil rights of the African American.

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