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Starr's Mill - Panther Debate Team
2004 LD Topic #7
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LD Topic 7: Civil Disobedience in a Democracy is Morally Justified.

Areas for Consideration Provided by the Wording Committee:
  • Check on Government
  • Individual Conscience
  • Duty to Act
  • Rule of Law
  • Tacit Consent

Conflict Areas: AFF

  • Abolitionist Movement - William Lloyd Garrison
  • Civil Rights Movement - Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968 Olympics
  • Universal Suffrage - Susan B. Anthony
  • Womens Rights Movement
  • American Revolution - Boston Tea Party
  • Anti-war Demonstrations
  • Ecological Demonstrators - Greenpeace
  • Variations of 1st Amendment Rights
  • Medical Rights - TAC South Africa


Conflict Areas: NEG

  • Eco-Terrorism - Earth First
  • Animal Rights Activists - Animal Liberation Front
  • Domestic Terrorism - Timothy McVeigh, Unabomber
  • Citizen Militia Groups - Waco
  • Unlawful Combatants
  • Suicide Bombers - Israel/Palistinian Conflict
  • Abortion Clinic Bombings - Rudolph


Literature on Civil Disobedience

The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, Étienne de la Boétie, Black Rose Books; 2nd Revision edition, September 1997.


"Letter From a Birmingham Jail", Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963.


Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau, 1849.



General Background Civil Disobedience - a site, part of the Network, committed to providing detailed and up-to-date information on where anti-consumer organizations and activists get their money. (Good List of Activist Groups)


Civil Disobedience Good/Bad - Thoreaus Civil Disobedience, Its Intellectual Roots, and Its Contribution to the American Radical Tradition, Jonathan Glickstein, University of California, May 6, 2003.


Civil Disobedience - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Civil Disobedience - "Civil Disobedience", Philosophy of Law: An Encyclopedia, Peter Suber; Garland: 1999.


Legal Background - "Philosophy of Law", Kenneth Einar Himma, University of Washington, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2001.


Civil Disobedience - "The Role of Civil Disobedience in Democracy", Kayla Starr, adapted by Bonnie Blackberry. (Good Historical Examples)


Nonviolent Civil Disobedience - The Nonviolent Action Handbook, Sanderson Beck. 2003.



Civil Disobedience - Good

Search and Seizure - "A Businessman Stands Up for His Rights," Timothy Lynch. Cato Institute. September 6, 1994.


Civil Disobedience and The Patriot Act - "INSATIABLE APPETITE: The Governments Demand for New and Unnecessary Powers After September 11", American Civil Liberties Union, April, 2002.


Criminalizing Dissent - "Suppression of Dissent", New York City Bill Of Rights Defense Campaign, Briefing Papers, January 2003.


Ecological Disobedience - "Boot Camp for Civil Disobedience", CBS News, June 27, 2003.


English Civil Disobedience - "Land and Freedom: The Seventeenth Century Diggers and Land Rights", and "The Levellers: Seventeenth century democrats in the English Civil War", The Land and Freedom pages: English Civil War History, Civil Disobedience.Org.Uk


Civil Disobedience Resources - P.L. Duffy Resource Centre, Trinity College, Western Australia.


Pro-Life Disobedience - "Civil Disobedience to Save Unborn Children: Is 'Rescuing' Right?", Eternal Perspective Ministries, Randy Alcorn, 1991. (**Note: Kind of Creepy)


Abolitionist Disobedience - "Thoreau, Civil Disobedience, and the Underground Railroad," A Calliope Fact Sheet, Calliope Film Resources, Inc. 2001.


Cyber-Disobedience - "Transforming Luddite Resistance into Virtual Luddite Resistance: Weaving A World Wide Web of Electronic Civil Disobedience", Stefan Wray, 7 April 1998.


AIDS Activists - ACT UP - a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. We advise and inform. We demonstrate. We are not silent.


Disobedience Backlash - "Caught in the Backlash: Stories from Northern California", ACLU.


Civil Disobedience Ideology - "On the Importance of Civil Disobedience," Sunni Maravillosa, Doing Freedom Magazine, October 2002.


AIDS Activists - "Aids Activists Resort To Civil Disobedience", David Beresford, The Guardian, March 16, 2003.,7369,915205,00.html


Agricultural Activists - "We Would Support the Lawbreakers: The Head Of The Countryside Alliance On Civil Disobedience", John Jackson, The Guardian, October 23, 2002.,3604,817273,00.html


Just Dissent - a campaign to support current legislation in California -- and to encourage similar legislation in other states -- to protect the American tradition of non-violent dissent by limiting the parameters of prosecution. (Great links to articles!)


The American Friends Service Committee - an organization that carries out service, development, social justice, and peace programs throughout the world. Founded by Quakers in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors with an opportunity to aid civilian war victims, AFSC's work attracts the support and partnership of people of many races, religions, and cultures.


Agricultural Disobedience - "Thoreau the Bums Out: Oregon's Farmers Embrace Civil Disobedience. Will It Be So Long, Sucker Fish?", Kimberley A. Strassel, Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2001.


Religion and Civil Disobedience - "Pax Christi Urges Civil Disobedience If U.S. Escalates War On Iraq", Tom Kelly, National Catholic Reporter, August 16, 2002.


Civil Disobedience in Australia - "Why Are We Holding A Forum On Civil Disobedience?", James Goodman, Civil Disobedience Today, October 31, 2002.


Civil Disobedience Background -"Why Are You Not Practicing Civil Disobedience?", SARTRE.


Civil Disobedience - "Hierarchic Democracy And The Necessity Of Mass Civil Disobedience", Ted Honderich, Conway Lecture, University College London.


Disobedience in Israel - "Civil Disobedience in Nablus", Miami Herald, Adam B. Kushner, Aug. 02, 2002.


Ecoterrorism - "Blue Planet: Ecoterrorism Redefined", Dan Whipple, UPI Science News, United Press International, Sept. 13, 2002.


Antiwar Protests -  "Protestors Eye Civil Disobedience", John Ritter, USA Today, March 9, 2003.


Ecoterrorism - "Waging Environmental War", Brooke Pace and Andrea Giallorenzo, EccoNet, 2001.


Civil Disobedience - Bad

Ecoterrorism - "Saving Earth, One Arson at a Time: Ecoterrorism, Or Act of Love?", Heather Maher. ABC News. Oct. 27, 1999


Ecoterrorism - "The Threat of Ecoterrorism," James F. Jarboe, Domestic Terrorism Section Chief, FBI, Congressional Testimony, February 12, 2002.


Animal Rights Extremism - "Reilly Announces 43 Indictments Against 12 People In Connection With International Animal Rights Extremist Group", Office of Attorney General Tom Reilly, October 25, 2002.


Animal Rights Extremism - Animal Rights.Net - organization provides a critical analysis of the animal rights movement and debunks many of their claims.


Domestic Terrorism - "EDITORIAL: Just Criminals", Beloit Daily News. September 1, 1998.


Cyberterrorism - "French Teen A Hacker Extraordinaire", CBS News. , July 9, 2003.


The Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise - a non-partisan education and research organization which works on free enterprise studies, public policy research, book publishing, conferences, white papers, and media outreach.


Citizen Militia Groups - "Paranoia, Patriotism, and the Citizen Militia Movement: Constitutional Right or Criminal Conduct?", R.J. Larizza, Mercer Law Review, Feb. 2, 2002.


Ecoterrorism - "Ecoterrorism", Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. (Great articles and resources!)


Ecoterrorism - "Eco-terrorism-A New Kind of Sabotage", L. Cheryl Runyon, National Conference of State Legislatures, March 6, 2003.


Ecoterrorism - "Environmentalists Blamed for Arizona Wildfire Disaster", Jason Pierce, CNS News, June 25, 2002.


Ecoterrorism - "Off the Reservation, Civil Defense Perspectives", Vol. 19, Number 3, Physicians for Civil Defense, March 2003.


Ecoterrorism - "In US, A Rise Of Violent Environmental Tactics: Arson And Death Threats Have Followed Ecoterrorists' Call For More Use Of Force", Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 2002.


Domestic Terrorism - "Senate Bill 742", 72nd Oregon Legislative Assembly, Regular Session, Sponsored By Senator MINNIS, 2003.


Domestic Terrorism - "Reflections On The Oklahoma City Bombing, 5 Years Later", Chip Berlet, The Progressive, April 12, 2000.


Pro-Life Extremism - "The Propagandist: Neal Horsley, America's leading anti-abortion Webmaster, is the profane voice of the extreme Christian right", Southern Poverty Law Center, Intelligence Report, Spring 2002, Issue 105.


Stop Eco-Violence! - a grassroots advocacy organization committed to raising the awareness of eco-terrorism and the harm it causes others, and to building the unified support necessary for the advancement of legislative and law enforcement efforts to eradicate violence perpetrated in support of environmentally motivated agendas.


Thoreau Criticism - "Henry David Thoreau: Readings of Thoreau's Resistance to Civil Government", Wynn Yarborough, Virginia Commonwealth University (1995).


Panther Debate. © Sean Bennett 2003