Civil Disobedience: Cost of Change

Topics: Nonviolence, Civil disobedience, Henry David Thoreau Pages: 4 (1485 words) Published: April 21, 2013
Aila Pena
Dr. Schuetze-Coburn
Contemporary Composition, Period 5
March 4, 2013
Civil Disobedience: The cost of change
More than 40,000 strong activists from the Sierra Club protested at the White House to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal. They protested because they the extraction of tar sand oil and moving it from Canada to Texas will pollute the groundwater in the surface (Hammel). Civil disobedience is “the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power” (Civil Disobedience). Throughout history, civil disobedience was a way to get the people’s attention that the government’s idea is immoral and unfair. It is a way to make a change in law or policy and to take action in a non-violent resistance. The act of civil disobedience is effective in our society, for example, Mohandas Gandhi protest against the British rule for India’s independence, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights action, and the Sierra Club protest to neglect the Keystone XL pipeline. These titles,"On the Relation of the Individual to the State," "Resistance to Civil Government," Civil Disobedience," and "A Yankee in Canada with Anti-Slave and Reform Papers,” have different title but all of them have the same concept. Henry David Thoreau’s concept of civil disobedience started at the Mexican-American war. He refused to pay taxes because he knows the taxes are going to the war and slavery. His action resulted being put in jail. In his focus of his beliefs in slavery and the war, he wrote an essay known as “Civil Disobedience.” According to Thoreau, the main idea of civil disobedience is about “unjust laws exist” (203). His essay means that sometimes the government make laws that are injustice and it is the people duty or right to stop the law that the government made. He explained what of civil disobedience is and how the people have the right to oppose an immoral state of the government. “Civil...

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