Theme Overview: Civil Disobedience

The phrase “civil disobedience” might seem, at first glance, an oxymoron. How can someone break the law in a way that others would consider “civil?” 

The contributors to this section are all asking that question, and come up with answers particular to their contexts. There are many ways, it seems, for conscientious people to resist laws that they feel are unjust. Sometimes this resistance has wide societal impact. Other times, it may make a difference in just a few lives. No matter the breadth of the impact, the depth remains the same; by refusing to conform to immoral laws, each of our contributors has demonstrated loyalty to “higher” laws, values, or morality. 

In its best iterations, civil disobedience both resists violence and pushes back against wrongful peace.

  • Noah Rubin-Blose shares his reflections after actively resisting the ICE deportation of a member of his community.
  • Veronica Pelicaric outlines the vision of the non-profit she works with, which aims to help people live deeply nonviolent lives.
  • Wayne Duvenage describes the efforts surrounding a public protest against an eToll in South Africa.

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