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Nonviolence in Civil Disobedience

Nonviolence in Civil Disobedience

Labelling protests is an increasingly complex process, and defining nonviolence in the context of protests is particularly problematic. As Robin Celikates has argued, labels tend to promote their own interests while alienating have a peek at this site the public and fostering violent repression. Labeling is also a politically charged act that tends to reproduce the privileged and oppressed, while serving the interests of the dominant voices. While labels may be necessary for effective political action, they are rarely helpful.


The principle of non-violence in civil disobediance can refer to any act that does not harm a human being, including violence. Whether or not civil disobedience involves violence varies, but acts of civil disobedience intended to shock or distress a public entity are often considered a form of non-violent protest. Listed below are some examples of civil disobedience in which violence was used.

Some scholars disagree on the definition of civil disobedience, but most agree that non-violence is the main ingredient. In fact, some commentators have argued that non-violence must be an essential part of civil disobedience in order to qualify as non-violent. Other commentators, however, claim that civil disobedience is indistinguishable from violent direct action. For many, however, civil disobedience is synonymous with non-violence, and the example of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mohandas Gandhi has influenced contemporary understandings of the term.

Alternative approaches

Several alternative approaches to civil disobedience have emerged in recent decades. One focuses on the role of nonviolence in the struggle for social change, while the other navigate to this site stresses the importance of a comprehensive philosophical approach. These alternative approaches have two distinct origins: the first is associated with a radical rejection of all state power. The second is more pragmatic next page and is rooted in a commitment to nonviolence, as in the case of pacifists.

Many alternative approaches to civil disobedience argue that government has lost its legitimacy and must be replaced. This is problematic because some of these activists believe in the legitimacy of the social contract, which binds us all to follow the laws of a legitimate government. In these cases, civil disobedience may undermine this social contract and encourage lawlessness. But the AFSC also argues that a society of laws is desirable.


The Occupy movement achieved remarkable message unity by engaging in unprecedented acts of digital activism and civil disobedience. However, the movement soon became reactive and pro-government figures began to assert themselves on social media and create viral content to reach younger users. While some protesters remain committed to their cause, others become more radical and aggressive. In this case, public relations specialists and protest leaders should not be ignored or overlooked.

While redirected here the Umbrella Movement successfully achieved the goal of public support within the protest movement, its leaders sought to win public support outside the group. While many Hongkongers sympathized with the political goals of the protests, they remained skeptical about the effectiveness of civil disobedience as a means of public pressure. Protest leaders therefore spent time and effort crafting a sympathetic media narrative. In addition, they carefully crafted Facebook statements and viral memes to gain widespread support.

Heartfelt action

While civil disobedience is illegal, it is important to note internet that the characteristics of legal protest are often similar to those of heartfelt action. Both involve a desire for change and the attempt to raise awareness. Heartfelt action differs from legal protest in that it is based on a selfless intent. But in both cases, it has a greater meaning than simply demonstrating one’s opposition to a particular practice.

Labeling a protest is a tricky task. Labeling it as non-violent tends to favor it, while labeling it as violent will often alienate the public and engender violent repression. Labeling an action as violent is also problematic, because it reproduces social exclusion and marginalization. In addition, it tends to serve the interests of dominant voices. As a result, Robin Celikates challenges the usefulness of a fixed category for civil disobedience.