Civil disobedience

Civil disobedience

There’s been anguished hand-wringing in the antiwar movement of late from people who ought to know better about how we shouldn’t do civil disobedience and direct action because it’s so confrontative and might turn people against us plus it’s tacky and blah blah blah.

Well pardon me, but I heard the same crap in the 60’s. “We agree with your goals but disagree with your tactics”. Which often can be a swell rationalization for doing as little as possible, especially when there might be actual consequences to your actions.

The civil rights movement was based on civil disobedience. They deliberately broke laws. And did so with such frequency and numbers that they finally could no longer be ignored. Yes they broke laws. Ugly racist laws about Blacks not being able to eat at the same lunch counters as Whites, but laws nonetheless.

Same thing with the Vietnam war protests. People burned their draft cards (a felony), they sat in streets, they held “illegal” demonstrations. And after a while, mainstream America finally decided the war was wrong, and it soon ended.

In both movements (civil rights and Vietnam), there was civil disobedience and direct action. In both cases these actions helped change things, and change them for the better.

There’s a long and noble history of civil disobedience, and those who decry such tactics show their ignorance of it. And their lack of commitment.