To what extent has civil disobedience been morally justified through non-violent protests? In the past, sit-ins have been used as a form of peaceful protest to raise awareness about injustice. Because sit-ins are a form of indirect disobedience, they are a key social change that I argue should be used to build power and effect change. Civil disobedience in some cases can overlap with other forms of dissent.
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In that way, non-violent resistance is the best strategy that can be used to advocate for social justice. Symbolic protests, like sit-ins, can be justified in being an effective form of non-violent protest. Non-violence resistance is the practice of achieving goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience or other methods, while being nonviolent. Movements have pragmatically adopted methods on nonviolent action as an effective way to achieve social/political goals. Some of the most effective types of nonviolent resistance include public speeches, marches, boycotts and sit-ins. These types of methods can be the most effective if they are peaceful, advertise precisely/correctly, are united as a group of protestors and at the end know how they are going to resolve the issue. Following these simple steps, leads to successful movements with a true purpose in hand. An example of an effective form of protest includes sit-ins, discussed in Sascha Cohens article, Why the Woolworths Sit-In Worked. Sit-ins were great strategies used that were precursors to todays social justice activism, particularly the #blacklivesmatter call to action against police brutality (Cohen 177).
In this way, this grassroots movement (sit-ins) was a nonviolent strategy of civil disobedience that lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act, ending racial segregation. Sit-ins were effective in demonstrating that nonviolent direct action could be successful. I know sit-ins created a path for future stand-ins, ride-ins, wade-ins, etc. This is why movements like these can build power dramatically and create change within the blink of an eye. Steps to help describe a nonviolence protest, provided by Martin Luther King Jrs article, Letter from a Birmingham Jail included fact-finding, negotiation, self-purification and direct action (King 150). Fact-finding includes identifying the injustices, and telling the difference between a just and an unjust law and its alignment with moral laws. The negotiation stage is essential because its peaceful goals for political change can sometimes only be achieved after action. Meaning that negotiations must be two-sided, with both sides having equal power and good faith. The self-purification step entails questioning a persons own moral strength and lastly, nonviolent direct action fosters tension, which in turn fosters the need for negotiation. With these steps being implemented, people were able to enforce nonviolence to promote their organizations and campaigns, like sit-ins.
Following these steps allows for a successful and effective nonviolent social change. I also believe that nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people,
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