Civil Disobedience: A Comparative Analysis

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Recently in Hong Kong, young protesters have taken civil disobedience to a whole new level. The pro- democracy protesters have been spotted picking up garbage, washing off graffiti, singing, and doing homework. The protesters are using this extreme civil disobedience to show citizens and government officials they are looking to improve Hong Kong, not destroy it. Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, and Henry David Thoreau also strongly believed in the effectiveness of civil disobedience to encourage change. In their writings, “from Letter from Birmingham City Jail,” by Martin Luther King, Jr, “On Civil Disobedience,” by Mohandas K. Gandhi and “from Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, they discuss their views on civil disobedience. King, Gandhi, and Thoreau all believe civil disobedience should be nonviolent and rely on…show more content…
They considered it to be as effective, if not more effective, than using acts of violence to arouse change. Gandhi said in, “On Civil Disobedience”, “Everywhere wars are fought and millions of people are killed. The consequence is not the progress of a nation but its decline . . . No country has ever become, or will ever become, happy through victory in war (Gandhi).” Violence only leads to bloodshed and hard times for both sides. By using nonviolence, goals can be achieved without a price having to be paid. In addition, Henry David Thoreau stated his encouragement of the nonviolence aspect of civil disobedience in “from Civil Disobedience. He believed the president was too quick to encourage war and that if a discussion had taken place between Mexico and America, a war could have been prevented. In his disapproval, Thoreau refused to pay his taxes and spent a night in jail only to write “Civil Disobedience”. No where in “Civil Disobedience” does Thoreau encourage violence to reform the government. He, as well as Gandhi and King, encouraged nonviolence while
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