Henry David Thoreau Protest

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This essay focuses on the question of whether or not twenty-first century activists have maintained the principles for inspiring change that past movement leaders and idealists such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry David Thoreau stood for in there respective time periods. The argument presented is that modern protestors do possess the same characteristics as previously inspired leaders. The antithesis is that present day movements have lost sight of the principles of civil disobedience and have turned to violence as a means for provoking the same changes. Examples of both types of demonstrations are also provided as evidence to support the claim.
Throughout the world, civil disobedience has instigated some of the most radical changes in society. A citizen who demonstrates the courage to act out against injustice, despite the possible consequences, is a role model to the rest of society. One historical example of this type of protest can be found when studying Henry David Thoreau. In an act of protest against slavery Thoreau wrote, “How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political
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King’s ideas is one of many that have lea to social outcry and acts of civil disobedience in today’s society.
On November 7, 2013 approximately 500 demonstrators protested in the streets of Los Angeles outside of a Wal-Mart retailer. Of these 500, fifty-four were arrested after the peaceful demonstration was dispersed by police officers. The activist’s main demand was to pay each full-time Wal-Mart employee an annual salary of $25,000, which is more than double the pay rate currently in place. This act of civil disobedience is a modern example of citizens willing to face persecution for what they perceive as injustice. Unfortunately, not all modern activists have retained the civil qualities of previous