Is Civil Disobedience (still) Effective?

civil disobedience Mar 29, 2017

Everything old is new again.

From the video description on Youtube:

“In November 1970, after my arrest along with others who had engaged in a Boston protest at an army base to block soldiers from being sent to Vietnam, I flew to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to take part in a debate with the philosopher Charles Frankel on civil disobedience. I was supposed to appear in court that day in connection with the charges resulting from the army base protest. I had a choice: show up in court and miss this opportunity to explain β€” and practice β€” my commitment to civil disobedience, or face the consequences of defying the court order by going to Baltimore. I chose to go. The next day, when I returned to Boston, I went to teach my morning class at Boston University. Two detectives were waiting outside the classroom and hauled me off to court, where I was sentenced to a few days in jail. Here is the text of my speech that night at Johns Hopkins.”

Was it the protests at town halls, the marches, the phone calls, and the letters and emails, that killed repeal and replacement of the ACA? (BTW, it’s still not dead.)

Or was the bill doomed anyway because arch-conservatives wanted nothing less that repeal with no replacement?

Finding out would require a level of honesty from members of the House that we’ll never see.

There’s little doubt that civil disobedience was a key part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, but how about now? Is it easier to ignore protestors when you can use social media to reach only the people that agree with you, as opposed to the old days when only three TV networks and a handful of national newspapers made the country seem more like a single entity?

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