Ngim 1 Kimberly Ngim
Intro to Academic Reading and Writing
November 10, 2014
Throughout history government has proven itself rarely useful. This prestigious group is composed of strong individuals that have the power to create unjust laws. These problem exists all around the world, in any country, whether the government is democratic or communist. Protests and revolutions arise from unjust laws creating violence and havoc. Many violent protest do not result in change. In Civil disobedience, Henry David Thoreau explains the idea of becoming civilly disobedient in order to change an unjust government. Civil rights leaders such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr changed the world by becoming civilly disobedient. Through past conflicts this method has been proven successful. Civil disobedience is the best way for changing an unjust government. Oscar Grant Protest in Oakland California is known to be one of the most violent riots in history. Oscar Grant had been celebrating New Year's Eve with his friends in San Francisco, and was returning to the East Bay in train headed to Fruitvale. At approximately 2:00 a.m. Police responded to fight involving multiple people on different trains who were all “hammered and stoned” (Graves 4). Officers removed Grant and several other men suspected of fighting from the train and detained them on the platform. Officer Pirone, who was the first officer to respond to the report, handcuffed Grant's friend, angering other riders. Pirone then lined up Grant and two other men against the wall. Officer Pirone then directed the second officer on scene Officer Mehserle to arrest Ngim 2 two of the individuals who had not been handcuffed; one of them being Oscar Grant. Grant overheard this and attempted to stand up, but was forced to the ground face first. Both Officers attempted to restrain Grant and ordered him to cooperate and put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed, but Grant resisted (Graves 1). The officers were not able to cuff him and Grant was shot because the officers noticed his hands moving towards his belt. Prior to being arrested Grant had not been searched by any officer for weapons. Riots and protests broke out days after the shooting and the officer was tried and convicted for manslaughter (“Justice for Oscar Grant”’ 3). However, this is not the first time an innocent, unarmed man has been fatally shot without reason. There have been multiple cases where police offices shoot and kill unarmed men and some of which are recent. The most recent being the case of Trevon Martin, an unarmed teenager who was shot by an officer as he was walking down the street. Although many protested for justice against Oscar Grants murder and the officer was convicted it still did not change anything. The problem still exist years later (but with different victims) despite the fact they got justice through violent protest for Grant (Graves 6). Larzac is a plateau in Southern France known for agriculture. Multiple sheep farms dominate the area and its economy solely relies on sheep breeding and ewe’s milk. In June of 1902 the French military established a training base in Averyron on the Larzac plateau. Sixty-Nine years later Michel Debre, the defense minister of France, announced plans to extend Camp Larzac without consulting the local population thus destroying more than a hundred farms (Reid 3). In his essay, Thoreau makes a point that people mindlessly do the things that their government tells them to do. He then goes on to state Ngim 3 that “the mass of men serve the state thus, not as men...
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