Peaceful Protest VS. Civil Disobedience?





I participated in the Day of Silence, and in doing so, I refused to talk during play rehearsal. My teacher flipped out and started yelling at me and took me to the office. When I returned, I found that three other students walked out of the class sticking up for me. The next day, the teacher gave the whole class a big speech about how she has nothing against peaceful protest, but we four students crossed the boundary into civil disobedience. She took me out of the play and is now forcing me to write an essay comparing these two subjects. I think she's being too overdramatic and she's always gonna be pissed off at me. Personally, I don't care. Peaceful protest and civil disobedience are the same things, am I right? If not, what exactly ARE they, and what are the differences?



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5 Answers to “Peaceful Protest VS. Civil Disobedience?”

  1. deciliters says:

    Not the same thing.A peaceful protest is a protest, within the laws, following the rules. For example, a peaceful march, after getting the proper permits, would be a peaceful protest.Now, the same march.No permits, and everyone walks down the street, blocking traffic. While still peaceful, they are violating the law. They can be arrested for violating the law. This is civil disobedience.Most famous example (from civil rights): There is a law that says that black people must sit in the back of the bus. Black woman sits in front of the bus. Peaceful – yes, but breaking the law.The key to civil disobedience is this: You must recognize that your point is important enough to be punished for it. You must accept your punishment as the price to pay for the value you hold dear.So, in the case of your failure to read your lines. This (arguably) is against the rules. You must face the consequences of your actions. Perhaps it is being kicked out of the play (a little harsh). Perhaps, it is an “F” for the day. But, you stood up for your principals, that all people should be valued, and that violence against any person (even those of alternate lifestyles) is never appropriate.To your classmates credit, they stood up, not just for what you were espousing, but for the mere fact that you stood by your beliefs.Martin Luther King was arrested literally dozens of times … and each time, he did not resist; did not contest his actions; he simply argued that the values he was promoting were more important than the “mere” punishment that any court or tribunal could impose.In your case, the value being promoted — to stop violence and harrassment of ALL students, was a higher calling than rehearsing a play that day. And one would think that in the arts, which is filled with eclectic and persons with an alternate lifestyle, the teacher would have supported your view.Good luck.

  2. dignite says:

    Civil disobedience is a way of peacefully protesting an unjust law. Did you have a little card explaining why you were being silent, which you could have given your teacher? She may have misunderstood why you were not speaking.You and your four friends were merely disobedient, but you didn’t break any laws so I don’t think you crossed the “boundary to civil disobedience”.

  3. volutin says:

    You have reduced rights in school, and I don’t think a right to protest is allowed in school. Since you have to respond to your teachers, not speaking is civil disobedience in this case. Protesting becomes civil disobedience when it disrupts activities.”The official Day of Silence website clearly states that students are “encouraged” to participate in class. This does not mean required.”The official Day of Silence website does not have the authority to give you permission to behave differently in school.

  4. valenta says:

    Civil disobedience refers to a refusal to obey certain laws or rules, versus protest, which is a way of publicly voicing opinions to influence others or a government policy.However, if you expect to participate in either without consequence, you are asking too much. If you choose to participate in protest, such as the day of silence, and it has an impact on the people around you, you should expect to be challenged on it.We all should understand that our actions have consequences. Protests are usually organized, but not always, and they can occasionally lead to more confrontational events, such as civil disobedience. Once the line is crossed and a law is broken, there will be a price to pay. For you, that price is an essay.Your teacher is likely using this as an opportunity to help you learn more about protests in an effort to guide you through your coming years, since you seem to be inclined to such activity.Spend some time researching and see where peaceful protests have evolved into civil disobedience, then on to violent confrontations and riots.

  5. JULIET says:

    well, you disrupted her class.. which is essentially civil disobedience.. you infringed on others’ rights by expressing your own.. can’t do that in situations as those.. it’s the same as if you were sitting in the middle of traffice to have a peaceful protest of whatever.. expressing your right to protest.. but, you disrupted traffic.. and probably refused to disband.. which is the same as you refusing to talk when required in class.. basically, civil disobedience is just peaceful protest gone too far..