Civil Disobedience Struggling to Join Law and Conscience

The American author Thoreau, in his Civil Disobedience, formulated the modern theory that contains the essence of this practice. Civil disobedience, which is “a form of protest in which protestors deliberately violate a law,” is a question of controversy considering its struggle between law and conscience. (Suber, 1999). Thus, the idea of Civil Disobedience is a great topic for discussion.

There are films and plays that have dealt with the theme of Civil Disobedience to make clear the various aspects of the concept. ‘King: A Filmed Record, Montgomery to Memphis’ is “a chronicle of the struggle for racial equality and justice from 1955 to 1968 through newsreel and television coverage.” (Documentaries Titles I-P, 2007). “Emma: A Play in Two Acts About Emma Goldman, American Anarchist” by Howard Zinn tells the story of an American feminist who was ousted from the US for her forthright convictions. Both these works give us a serious topic for discussion on whether or not violence is an appropriate response to oppression and the consequence of using violence. As a noble way of resistance, the Civil Disobedience resorts to the nonviolent way of resistance. This is a grant way of thinking in which the participants are ready to meet the consequences of engaging in such an activity and they do not adhere to the violent mode of activities. There are many alternative ways against the oppression other than violent mode of protest. The nonviolent form of Civil Disobedience is a generally accepted way of resistance all over the world and this is a proven method of the fight for the human cause. Montgomery to Memphis is one of the works that contribute to this way of thinking. Martin Luther King, Jr. all through his career from the bus segregation protests in Montgomery in 1955 to the assassination in Memphis has contributed to the Civil Rights Movement following this great path of civil disobedience.