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.