civil dis-obedience


The act of Jesus kicking over the tables of the money changers in a temple is one of the first recorded examples of direct action.

"It was time for the annual Passover celebration, and Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; and he saw money changers behind their counters. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and oxen, scattered the money changers' coins over the floor, and turned over their tables."
New Living Bible, John 2:13-15

The execution of Jesus was a form of execution used by the Romans for revolutionaries. source:heurke



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote that the philosophy and practice of nonviolence has six basic elements.

First, nonviolence is resistance to evil and oppression. It is a human way to fight.

Second, it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his/her friendship and understanding.

Third, the nonviolent method is an attack on the forces of evil rather than against persons doing the evil. It seeks to defeat the evil and not the persons doing the evil and injustice.

Fourth, it is the willingness to accept suffering without retaliation.

Fifth, a nonviolent resister avoids both external physical and internal spiritual violence- not only refuses to shoot, but also to hate, an opponent. The ethic of real love is at the center of nonviolence.

Sixth, the believer in nonviolence has a deep faith in the future and the forces in the universe are seen to be on the side of justice.

Gandhi disliked the words and idea of "passive resistance".

Gandhi believed that opponents must be converted by a demonstration of purity, humility, and honesty.

They are to be converted - not annihilated.

Violence creates bitterness in the victim, and brutality in the attacker.

Gandhi promoted a constant dialogue between opponents with a view to ultimate reconciliation.

Insults, threats, and propaganda only serve to obstruct the goal.


source:kids right


The ANC launched its Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws in 1952, when Mandela was National Volunteer-in-Chief.

The Defiance Campaign was conceived as a mass civil disobedience campaign that would snowball from a core of selected volunteers to involved more and more ordinary people, culminating in mass defiance.

Fulfilling his responsibility as Volunteer-in-Chief, Mandela traveled the country organising resistance to discriminatory legislation.

Charged and brought to trial for his role in the campaign, the court found that Mandela and his co-accused had consistently advised their followers to adopt a peaceful course of action and to avoid all violence.

For his part in the Defiance Campaign, Mandela was convicted of contravening the Suppression of Communism Act and given a suspended prison sentence.

Shortly after the campaign ended, he was also prohibited from attending gatherings and confined to Johannesburg for six months.



Dutch Activist Arthur Laumann takes direct action to prevent a bus load of delegates from arriving at the world economic forum in melbourne last year.


During the June 18 global day of action, Electronic Disturbance Theater coordinated an international cyber attack on the Mexican embassy in London. On-line protesters used a program called FloodNet, that made multiple requests to the embassy Web server. The server was crashed after receiving endless requests from 18,000 people from 46 countries.



In the lead up to the mass s-11 protests in melbourne last year, was redirected to for 19 hours - causing thousands of nike fans to read facts on abuses in nike sweatshops. - more


Opponents of the Vietnam War employed the use of draft card burnings, draft file destruction, mass demonstrations, sit-ins, blocking induction centers, draft and tax resistance, and the historic 1971 May Day traffic blocking in Washington, D.C. in which 13,000 people were arrested.



On December 1, 1955, seamstress Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to yield her seat to a white patron on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus.

Mrs. Parks was found guilty of disorderly conduct and that lead directly to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Mrs. Parks was not the "quiet seamstress" as the media has often portrayed her.

In 1943 she became a member of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and she served as its secretary until 1956. After the Bus Boycott, Mrs. Parks lost her job and, with her husband and mother, relocated to Detroit in 1957.

In 1999 she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the highest honour a civilian can receive in the United States.

She continues to live in Detroit, is still active in the Civil Rights Movement and lends her "Quiet Strength" to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.
source: rosa parks portal


e-mail in your profiles on other acts of civil disobedience to - with sources






"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- margaret mead














"It's not the repression by the bad people that hurts- it's the silence of the good"
- Martin Luther King











"The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them self respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not think they had. Finally, it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality."
- Martin Luther King

















"Let me say, at the risk of seeming ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love"
- Che


Dr. Martin Luther King's Views on Civil Disobedience

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