Thursday, November 27, 2014
Civil Disobedience -- a Civic Responsibility?
Now that more than 100 people have been arrested on Burnaby Mountain, questions are being raised about how many of those arrests may have been illegitimate. The BC Civil Liberties Association has posed this question, basing it on possibly inaccurate boundaries of the area under injunction -- an area Kinder Morgan is challenging in court today. The company is hoping to expand the area that's blockaded and to extend the days they'll be allowed to do their exploratory surgery in the forest.
As far as I'm concerned, all the arrests should be tossed. It seems to me that the protesters (whom I prefer to call protectors) are only performing their duty as citizens, defending an area that's a City of Burnaby park, one that's been deemed a conservation area at that.
The history of civil disobedience is lengthy, and instances of it span the globe. It has made the difference in many situations where injustice needed to be revealed (think, for one, the work of Gandhi).
Here's an article that will remind you of some important examples of civil disobedience in action. I especially love Richard Seymour's (author of the piece) concluding statement about civil disobedience: "It is the way in which progress is made."