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Civil Disobedience

Updated Tuesday, 7th April 2015
Should you follow your conscience and break the law if you feel it is morally right, rather than be a cog in an unjust system? Stephen Fry investigates some people in history who believed so. 

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A just society has fair laws. But most societies aren’t like that. So what can you do? The opponent of slavery, Henry David Thoreau, gave one answer in his essay ‘On Civil Disobedience’: follow your conscience and break the law on moral grounds rather than be a cog in an unjust system. Ghandi, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King have all inspired generations to make changes to unjust laws through civil disobedience. Stephen Fry explains its origins.

 

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