Civil Disobedience In The Civil Rights Movement

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The act of peaceful resistance to unjust laws can positively impact a free society. In the United States alone, disenfranchised minority groups have had doors opened because of their civil disobedience. From the earlier Civil Rights and Women’s Suffrage movements to more recent events like Standing Rock, civil disobedience has proved to play a crucial role in the advancement of minority groups.
If not for civil disobedience, people of color and women would not have the rights that are obliged to them today. The Civil Rights movement allowed for people of color to protest their unjust treatment in society. By protesting racist laws, people of color were not only able to move towards equality, but also ensured that their voice would be heard.
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A large component of modern civil disobedience is not the protesting of what has been taken away, but what people believe is a risk of being removed in the future. One of the more recognizable cases of civil disobedience is Standing Rock. Established in 1863 as a part of the Great Sioux Reservation, the Standing Rock Agency was granted land through Article 2 of the Treaty of Fort Laramie. Since it’s commencement, the federal government treated the Great Sioux Reservation unjustly. An example of such treatment involves the altering and reducing of Great Sioux Reservation boundaries without the consent of the Sioux people. In response, many Native Americans began to protest Congress’ ruling through civil disobedience. An even more recognizable case involving Native Americans is their peaceful response to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The DAPL would run through sacred land of the Standing Rock Reservation while also violating national environmental laws related to the potential contamination of water supplies. As construction of the pipeline began, national support against the DAPL intensified. Many Native Americans began to camp on the future construction site near Lake Oahe in protest of the ongoing construction that would have violated environmental statutes. As a result, construction of the DAPL was halted. The protests surrounding Planned Parenthood are an example of civil disobedience prior to a ruling. Many people, including the team of Donald Trump, want to defund Planned Parenthood. The response to the defunding of Planned Parenthood involves worldwide nonviolent protests. Without federal funding Planned Parenthood wouldn’t be able to provide millions of men and women with necessary health care. These peaceful protests hope to protect those who do not have any other access to health