This is a repeat of the meetup on March 23rd. If you attended that one (or RSVP'd and did not attend) please do not RSVP to this one so that other members can join our discussion. Thanks!
The term ‘civil disobedience’ was coined by Henry David Thoreau in his 1848 essay to describe his refusal to pay the state poll tax implemented by the American government to prosecute a war in Mexico and to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law.
What makes a breach of law an act of civil disobedience? When is civil disobedience morally justified? How should the law respond to people who engage in civil disobedience?
Civil disobedience is a public, non-violent and conscientious breach of law undertaken with the aim of bringing about a change in laws or government policies. On this account, people who engage in civil disobedience are willing to accept the legal consequences of their actions, as this shows their fidelity to the rule of law.
Why must civil disobedience be non-violent? Why must it be public, in the sense of forewarning authorities of the intended action, since publicity gives authorities an opportunity to interfere with the action? Why must people who engage in civil disobedience be willing to accept punishment?
We'll address these issues in our discussion on civil disobedience.