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Martin Luther King, Civil Rights Movement, Essay Sample (Essay Sample)

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https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/Letter_Birmingham_Jail.pdf

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Civil Disobedience
Introduction
Civil disobedience refers to the public repudiation of laws and government policies usually involving use of techniques such as go-slows, peaceful demonstrations and tax evasion. It is a way of opposing state laws that are regarded as oppressive or unfair and has been used in many countries across the world to resist such laws and government policies. It is seen as the original concept that developed into modern day civil activism involving civil societies and human rights groups. Proponents of civil disobedience are often seen by the government and some sections of the society as its enemies. The proponents are usually sent to jail or torture chambers as punishment.
It should be noted that civil disobedience has its features that differentiate it from other forms of resistance such as terrorism, revolution and mass protests/actions. It is a concept that has evolved over a long period of time dating back as early as the days of Socrates a famous Greek philosopher. The main features of civil disobedience include publicity, non-violence, anticipation of detention and punishment and conscientiousness
Publicity
Civil disobedience aims at changing public laws to benefit the majority who believe in justice. It is not done secretly and the authorities are usually served with a notice by the dissenters. The dissenters’ openness shows their intention to strike a fair deal with the government or other authorities that may have passed the law/policy sparking the dissent.
Non-Violence
Proponents of civil disobedience believe that any form of protest that involves violence is not civil disobedience. This is irrespective of whether the protest is justified or not. There is, however, disagreement on what form/level of violence is relevant since there are several forms/levels of violence such as violence to oneself and minor violence against others. Disobedience activists, in their protests, usually prefer non-violence to bar the authorities they are protesting against from using excessive force as a countermeasure against them. They endorse peace in their activism and avoid all sorts of violence.
Anticipation of detention and punishment
Dissenters in civilly disobedient actions are well aware that the authorities may, most probably, take legal action against them and arrest, detain or punish them in other ways. Many times, the authorities do arrest the dissents and charge them with illegal assembly, violence, defamation and attempts to overthrow the government.
Conscientiousness
Civil disobedience proponents intend to efficiently convey their grievances in an orderly, careful and organized manner as opposed to disorderliness. They do not sit back, relax and watch as punitive laws and government policies weigh down on them. They prefer not to be easy going by accepting any laws and policies that are passed by the authorities.
Martin Luther King and His Response to Civil Disobedience
Martin Luther King was a famous son of an American reverend and civil rights activist and movement leader who risked his life and that of his family as he stood firm in advocating for defiance of laws that were deemed unfair and oppressive (King 12). He was mostly opposed to laws made by the largely White authorities that oppressed the Negroes, for instance the rule that requir...
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