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Civil Disobedience

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  • Feb. 2013
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Civil Disobedience
On March of 1930, thousand of Indians marched 241 miles to Dandi, Gujarat in order to make salt. Led by one man these people marched in a peaceful protest against a tax that was placed on salt by the British. This protest was known as the Salt Satyagraha and the man that led the march was known as Mohandas Ghandi. Ghandi led a campaign of civil disobedience by peaceful protest from his return to India in 1915 till his death in 1948. He led this campaign in order to gain rights for the Indian people while they were under British rule until he gained India’s Independence in 1947. This is just one example of civil disobedience through out history and it continues to be used today. One such example would be the occupy Wall Street protests just last year. However, to be able to tell when civil disobedience happens you need to be able to understand what it truly is and why it happens.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the term “civil disobedience” was first used by a man named Henry David Thoreau in an essay he wrote in 1848 stating his refusal to pay a state poll tax implemented by the American government to support a war in Mexico. Henry defined civil disobedience as people serving society with their conscience and thus resists society. For a more literal definition Peter Suber defines civil disobedience as a form of protest in which the protestors deliberately break the law.