civil disobedience

Civil disobedience is when people disobey a law because they believe the law is unfair. Civil has to do with civilization, and disobedience is the failure to obey. It’s a way of sticking it to The Man.

We have Henry David Thoreau to thank for the term civil disobedience, which is the title of an essay he wrote in 1849. In it, he encourages people not to follow a law if they feel it’s unjust. Usually, civil disobedience is a peaceful protest like a march or a sit-in. A perfect example of civil disobedience is Rosa Parks refusing to move to the back of the bus — the law was racist, and she refused to follow it.

Definitions of civil disobedience

n a group's refusal to obey a law because they believe the law is immoral (as in protest against discrimination)

“Thoreau wrote a famous essay justifying civil disobedience
a form of civil disobedience in which demonstrators occupy seats and refuse to move
protest march
occasion when you can express opposition by marching (usually on some government institution) without a license
peace march
a protest march against (a particular) war and in favor of peace
Type of:
direct action
a protest action by labor or minority groups to obtain their demands

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