On January 6, 2021, politically motivated protestors turned into an angry mob and led an attack on our nation’s congressional halls. This event was unprecedented, and our nation is still dealing with the aftermath of it months later.
This attack happened because people were frustrated and empowered and they wanted to make a change. However, many of us want to make a change, but many of us don’t turn to force or violence to make change happen. So, what are we supposed to do when local, state or federal governments are behaving in a way we believe should change? We turn to nonviolent acts of civil disobedience.
Three acts of civil disobedience for disagreeing with authority in a peaceful way
Turning to acts of civil disobedience is more important than ever. For example, tensions in America have recently boiled over with increasing reports and footage of black citizens being unjustly murdered by law enforcement officials. In these circumstances, instead of storming the Capitol like the January 6 insurrectionists, we can turn to acts of civil disobedience:
- Make your voice heard — When women were considered ineligible to vote and had little authority or power in society in general, many decided they had enough. They organized strikes and rallies and distributed pamphlets to make their voices heard and eventually win the right to vote.
- Do what’s right, even when it’s scary — Getting angry and turning to violence is the simple path and the most consequential one. The harder, more powerful path is doing what’s right, even if it’s scary. If you see something going on you disagree with, such as law enforcement violence, speak up.This may be hard to do if you are surrounded by family or members of your community who have opposing beliefs, but doing and saying what is right has a contagious power that can inspire change.
- Refuse — In 1989, the UK government introduced a poll tax that was meant to collect pay from would-be voters in Scotland. The people of Scotland fiercely opposed the tax and fought hard to have it abolished, but it remained. As a result, millions refused to pay the poll tax. On this scale, it was difficult for the government to continue enforcing the law and it was brought to a halt.
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