When you hear the word "security" or "safety" watch out. They are the two buzz words that are most often used by the government, whether federal or local, to fearmonger. Fear can be used to drive bad policies that otherwise would be rejected. It has consequences, internationally, nationally, and locally. Around the world Americans fight wars because they are afraid that if they do not do so they will be attacked by terrorists. Nationally, the Department of Homeland Security grows and grows, compiling extensive data bases on citizens who have done no wrong. Locally, police forces grow larger and larger in spite of falling crime rates. What is certain about the consequence of fear is that those who sell it to increase government powers do so in the full knowledge that it will cost lots of taxpayer money and will also wind up infringing on civil liberties. Make no mistake, the post 9/11 United States is moving gradually towards becoming a police state-lite and no one seems to care very much. But don't worry, it is all happening to make you more safe and secure.
The creep of government and the march of surveillance technology go hand in hand. In Maryland and other states, the push to use ostensibly innocuous technology to enable police to monitor the public has accelerated. There has been some debate in the Washington area about the increasing use of speed cameras, but those who are opposed are usually silenced by the "safety" argument. It is reported that Montgomery County in Maryland has deployed hundreds of cameras and is raking in $53,000 a day in fines. The cameras are sited on busy roads and record the license plates of vehicles going a pre-set speed over the posted limit. Many are located where the speed limit drops, making them electronic speed traps. The fine is mailed to the owner of the car automatically and there is no appeal and no way to determine if the camera was malfunctioning. If the fine is not paid, penalties are added on to it and the offending vehicle has its re-registration blocked.
Governments use "safer" to justify anything and have done so in the past to curtail constitutional rights through abominations like the Patriot Acts and the Military Commissions Act. Burgeoning technologies like speed cameras raise serious personal liberties issue that no one is choosing to address. Why should the government have the ability to monitor the movements of a vehicle belonging to a citizen under any circumstances? Does anyone know for sure that the speed cameras are not sending their information to some data base at the Department of Homeland Security? Maybe they already are. It is difficult to know as there is no real oversight to the process and it is easy to connect data bases. If the cameras are not being multi-tasked yet just wait until someone figures out what a wealth of information they might be collecting. And when they begin recording information on law abiding citizens the government will claim that it is for everyone's safety and security.
Those who might argue that collecting traffic data electronically is not threatening might want to consider that information only has meaning when someone figures out how to use it. The employment of apparently innocuous data bases to police the public has been around for a while. Shortly after 9/11, CIA was sending officers all over the world, many traveling on authentic US passports issued in false names. An officer I know who was returning from Asia presented his passport to the immigration officer at Dulles Airport. The airport flipped through it, slid it through a scanner, punched a couple of numbers and then asked "What kind of car do you own?" All of the fake passports apparently had some linked data bases that were provided to make them appear more authentic, which is referred to as backstopping. In this case, the immigration officer was able to pull up additional information from state of Virginia records relating to the traveling officer who, unaware of the DMV link, was arrested, and spent a few uncomfortable hours in the slammer before being bailed by CIA security. That was in 2002. The all-information all-the-time security state has been much empowered and improved since then and it is to be presumed that there now exists an electronic data base on every citizen.
Local governments have an interest in developing ingenious ways to fine the citizenry to raise money but the more important issue is the government's willingness and ability to electronically monitor people's lives. The National Security Agency already has the technical capability to monitor all telephone calls taking place within the United States in real time. To judge how close we Americans are to complete surveillance it is helpful to look at the example of Europe, where state intrusion has been a fact of life for many years. The United Kingdom, which is now the most constantly and thoroughly technically surveilled country on earth, provides some hint of what the United States might become in a few years. The British government routinely monitors telephone calls and e-mail messages. Cameras provide continuous coverage of the centers of most cities and there is monitoring of all major roads and bridges by CCTV linked to monitors.
To cite only one example, back in March the British media was reporting the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence. Lawrence was working as a chef at a university in York when she disappeared. A BBC report included the following: "It was initially thought Miss Lawrence had disappeared after setting off on the three-mile walk from her home to work the following morning. But she does not appear on any CCTV footage from her normal route."
On the basis of the CCTV, the police ruled out her having walked to work, which means that they were able to reconstruct a three mile route through the city with reasonable assurance that they had not missed Lawrence on the CCTV footage. That the police would be able to do that and no one bats an eyelash for privacy reasons is astonishing, a level of government surveillance that is several generations beyond speed cameras. It is reminiscent of Winston Smith in 1984 whose television was watching him while he was doing exercises in front of it. Maybe George Orwell knew what was coming.
And then there is the real ID. Janice Napolitano, Director of Homeland Security, has backed off from the real ID concept that would have united all relevant data bases on the federal, state, and local levels to create an identity card that would be required for all US citizens and resident aliens. Reportedly, a number of states balked at the expense of integrating their data bases, but there is a fundamental civil liberties issue that is much more important. A huge data base on all citizens incorporating detailed personal information is a formula for control by the state that essentially renders null and void the US constitution. Can Napolitano make a case that the creation of the real ID will end terrorist threats? Of course not. The sponsors of Real ID might be well intentioned and honorable, but they should understand that in the wrong hands electronic invasion of privacy can become another tool taking away individual rights and liberties and transferring control to the government. No one really knows whether a national ID it would really make anyone safer or more secure. Many European countries already have identity documents that are similar to the proposed real ID, yet they have suffered from terrorist attacks and continue to have thousands of illegal immigrants.
The creep towards the technological control of the entire US population continues. It is particularly dangerous because it is largely unregulated, free of any judicial process. There is no sign that the Obama Administration will do anything to stop the development of new technologies and policing imperatives because more government in everyone's lives is really what the Democratic Party is all about. When government officials start talking about everyone's safety the people should be aware that those promises are essentially empty and that exchanging liberty for the promise of security will eventually lead to the loss of both.
HeidelbergCement, one of the world's largest manufacturers of building materials, has become the target of legal action in Israel because of its activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The company's subsidiary, Hanson Israel, manufactures ready-made cement, aggregates and asphalt for Israel's construction industry and operates a quarry in the occupied West Bank.
In March, the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din filed a petition with the Israeli high court demanding a halt to illegal mining activity in West Bank quarries, including Hanson Israel's Nahal Raba quarry. Attorneys representing Yesh Din called upon the court to put an end to this "clearly illegal activity, which constitutes blunt and ugly colonial exploitation of land we [Israel] had forcefully seized."
Yesh Din's attorneys argued that the practice is reminiscent of occupation patterns in ancient times when there were no laws of war and the victor could plunder the occupied territory, enslave its economy and citizens, and transfer the natural resources of the vanquished to its own land. In May, Israel ordered a freeze on the expansion of Israeli-run stone and gravel quarries in the occupied West Bank. The Ministry of Justice asked the court to delay a hearing for six months to study the legal position of the quarries. In addition to its mining activity at Nahal Raba, the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace reported on the website Who Profits from the Occupation? that Hanson owns two concrete plants in the settlements of Modiin Illit and Atarot, and an asphalt plant south of the Elqana settlement.
Five years ago, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) reaffirmed in its authoritative ruling the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, that Israel is the occupying power in the Palestinian territories, and the illegality of settlement construction, which includes the construction of industrial sites in the settlements.
Transnational corporations like HeidelbergCement are required by international law to comply with international rules governing corporate responsibility with respect to human rights.
In 2003, the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights defined norms on the responsibilities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with regard to human rights. The norms are framed within the general obligation that "States have the primary responsibility to promote, secure the fulfillment of, respect, ensure respect of and protect human rights recognized in international as well as national law, including ensuring that transnational corporations and other business enterprises respect human rights."
"Transnational corporations and other business enterprises," the UN norms state, also specifically "have the obligation to promote, secure the fulfillment of, respect, ensure respect of and protect human rights recognized in international as well as national law, including the rights and interests of indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups."
Hanson Israel's concrete and asphalt plants in the OPT -- just like the Israeli settlements -- are contrary to international law. Israel's mining of Palestinian natural resources, mainly for the Israeli market, also violates international law. Through Hanson Israel's operations in the occupied West Bank, HeidelbergCement is involved in Israel's violations of international law and the company acts against the rights and interest of the indigenous Palestinian people.
The UN Norms for transnational corporations are an authoritative guide to corporate social responsibility. Institutional investors and asset managers are increasingly insisting on corporate social responsibility as a requirement for their continued investment. As states fail to meet their obligations to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law, economic pressure can be used as a tool to hold companies who render aid or assistance to Israel's violations of international law to account.
In early 2008, for example, the Dutch ASN Bank divested from the Irish construction firm Cement Roadstone Holding (CRH), a competitor of HeidelbergCement. CRH owns 25 percent of the Israeli Mashav Group, the holding company for Nesher Cement. According to the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace, Nesher provided cement for Israel's wall, checkpoints and illegal settlements in the OPT. Activists in Ireland have demanded that CRH end all of its activities that facilitate the Israeli occupation.
The growing global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel has brought major investor, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, under pressure to distance itself from companies benefiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In May, 20 Israeli organizations sent a letter to the pension fund calling for divestment from 15 companies, including HeidelbergCement.
Following a sustained campaign calling for an end of French transportation giant Veolia's complicity with Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, it was reported last month that the corporation planned to abandon its involvement in a light rail project in Jerusalem that would effectively normalize the illegal situation of Israel's settlements.
Although Veolia's headquarters in Paris has remained silent, the company's communications manager in Sweden, Gunhild Saumllvinn, told the Swedish news agency TT on 14 June that heavy criticism of Veolia's participation in the project and the loss of several major contracts is "probably is one of the reasons behind the decision" to withdraw involvement.
It seems that like Veolia, HeidelbergCement is attempting to sell off its Israeli subsidiary. The Israeli business magazine Globes reported in May that the Mashav Group and Engelinvest Group have shown interest in acquiring Hanson Israel. If Mashav buys Hanson, however, Irish firm CRH can expect to be greeted with increased pressure to divest from the Mashav Group, likely achieving a similar end as the Veolia divestment campaign.
"In a Democracy there is no right not to be offended. Anyone ought to be free to say whatever they like. If someone says things that are offensive, gratuitous and stupid, one has to assume there will be others able to demonstrate that what someone said was offensive, gratuitous and stupid."
"The holocaust is an ideological club, used to hold Germany in a vice like grip. In the early nineties these organisations discovered an opportunity to shake down European Governments and now they have run amok. They are pursuing blackmail and therefore they should be indicted and tried as criminals before the courts."
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. "
Below are links to various petitions we support. If you see one that interests you then please take action.
Make Congress Read Their Bills Before Voting
Make Congress read every word of every bill they create before they vote on it. Urge your Representative and your Senators to sponsor DownsizeDC.org's “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).
TWIC - A Backdoor Real ID Card
Real ID is dying. But the Department of Homeland Security has a new plan to subject every American to a national ID card anyway. They plan to pick off one occupational field at a time, starting with the maritime industry. One man is fighting back. Meet him, and help stop this backdoor Real ID plan.
Make Congress pass DownsizeDC.org's “One Subject at a Time Act”
Most Americans probably believe a bill has to have majority support in Congress before it can become the law of the land. Sadly, this common sense expectation is totally wrong. Congressional leaders routinely pass laws that a majority opposes. DownsizeDC.org believes every bill should have to stand or fall on its own merits. Toward this end we have crafted the “One Subject at a Time Act” (OSTA).
End Bureaucratic "Legislation without Representation" with the "Write the Laws Act"
Unelected bureaucrats create tens-of-thousands of new dictates each year. Making rules is the job of Congress, not bureaucrats. DownsizeDC.org has drafted the “Write the Laws Act” to end bureaucratic “legislation without representation."
Bring John Shadegg's 'Enumerated Powers Act' to a Vote
t's time for Congress to, "Cite it, chapter and verse." Where do they derive their authority? When they pass new laws or spend taxpayer money, they should be required to point to specific language in the Constitution. The Enumerated Powers Act would require them to do precisely that. Help us bring this bill to a vote.
Top 11 Reasons You Should Fight Hate Laws
Unless we resist now, a thought crimes bureaucracy like those regulating Australia, Canada and Europe will soon rule America. In these nations, federal hate laws have destroyed citizens' rights to free speech. Punishment of politically incorrect bias is the ultimate goal of this legislation.
A national hate law would shatter Americans' First Amendment rights, which are now sadly unique among Western democracies. We would lose our precious freedom to express politically incorrect ideas, moral judgments, or whatever personal convictions the reigning thought police deem "hateful."
Think this can't happen in America? Think again.
Hostile work environment law and campus speech bans already severely curtail free expression in American workplaces and universities. A US federal hate law would follow the examples of Europe, Canada, and Australia where Christian pastors have been indicted simply for quoting politically incorrect Scripture in their sermons. Iceland's Orwellian hate law, for example, promises two years' jail if you verbally "insult" a person on the basis of their nationality, skin color, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
If a federal hate law were passed, free expression across the political spectrum would be threatened. What would happen to blasphemous art like Piss Christ or South Park, to Ann Coulter or Al Franken, to Christians protesting sodomy or homosexuals attacking the Bible? Every American, from left-leaning feminists to red state Republicans, should protest "anti-hate" legislation. If Rosie O'Donnell were an Icelander, she could have been prosecuted for verbal "assault" for her recent statement that radical Christianity is as dangerous as radical Islam. Political activists in nations with hate laws have already been indicted for criticizing Islam, Zionism, and homosexuality. Hate laws threaten your freedom to speak your mind, no matter what's on it.
Here are some of the most powerful, bipartisan reasons to fight this legislation.
1. Speech bans are a political weapon used by those in power to silence their opponents and politically unpopular minorities.
Hate laws empower the government to enforce the orthodoxy of whoever happens to be in charge. The government can define which biases or "hatreds" are unacceptable and which are okay. For instance, hate laws in our PC age allow women to derogate men but would silence men from legitimate (though possibly hurtful) speech like a discussion of biological gender differences.
In 2004 Swedish feminist Joanna Rytel wrote a hate-filled screed published in a major daily. Her article describes white men as arrogant, sex-obsessed and exploitative, explaining that Rytel just wants to "puke" on them. Stockholm authorities refused to indict Rytel under their hate law, saying it was passed to protect ethnic minorities, not white Swedes. This is one example of speech bans' uneven enforcement; they are used to punish certain kinds of hate and allow others.
Because almost every exercise of free speech offends someone, government officials would end up enforcing speech bans on the basis of their own bias. Speech bans simply can't be evenhanded unless everyone is shut up altogether.
In the real world, speech can and does wound. That's a cost of life. We naturally resent painful realities like economic competition, unfair comments, and hard work. But in each case, the cures we've tried were far worse than the sickness. Speech bans might censor some hurtful speech but would empower government to silence minorities and strip the intellectual marketplace of legitimate and needed expression-the kind that creates positive, social change precisely because it is minority and challenges the sins of the group.
2. Hate speech bans don't work.
Genuine racism and false hatreds exist in this world. Bans on hate speech, however, won't solve the problem. If you only break off a tick's body, its head will burrow deep beneath the skin. The only effective response to bad ideas is the truth. We should combat falsehoods with more and freer discussion, not less.
3. Hate laws aren't necessary.
ADL claims an epidemic of hate sweeps America that can only be fought with stiffened penalties for bias-driven crimes. Yet the FBI's 2005 Uniform Crime Report shows alleged hate crimes form a tiny 1/15 of 1 percent of all crime in America. Law enforcers' time would be far better spent fighting the 99.85 percent of crime that's happening every minute across our nation rather than getting entangled in discerning and testifying against the perceived motivations of a tiny minority of criminals.
Hate laws would require vast government bureaucracies, complicate law enforcement, and distract police and prosecutors from dealing with actual physical crimes. Government and law enforcement should focus on criminal acts, not words or motivations, in a nation where someone is murdered every 22 minutes, raped every 5, robbed every 49 seconds and burgled every 10 seconds. Discerning and prosecuting criminal motivations would only be a good plan if law enforcers had God's omniscience and time to waste. Ours have neither.
4. Hate speech bans are unconstitutional.
Because the First Amendment underwrites our most precious civil liberty, the US Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled against speech bans. In 1972 the Court declared, "[A]bove all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its contents." (Police Department of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92)
Some forms of speech are restricted; these include threats and "fighting words" that incite "an immediate breach of peace." But these restrictions are (and must remain) extremely narrow and content-neutral-the government is not allowed to censor speech based on the viewpoint it expresses but only on whether it constitutes an immediate threat. Hate laws, however, would punish the viewpoints expressed in speech, in violation of the Constitution.
International use of ADL-designed hate laws shows that the first kinds of speech to be sanctioned are extreme right, white nationalist speech and Holocaust reductionism. The average person is slow to defend such speech. But hate laws quickly broaden to punish forms of expression the average citizen would never dream of stifling. Sweden's 2002 modified hate law, for example, explicitly exposes Christian sermons to prosecution!
All forms of controversial political and religious speech are potentially vulnerable to prosecution under hate laws. This contradicts Supreme Court Justice Holmes Jr. who said in 1929, "[I]f there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment [loyal defense] than any other, it is the principle of free thought-not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought we hate."
5. Speech bans will be used against the very minorities they were meant to protect.
Speech bans silence some to protect the feelings of others. But when the government has power to silence expression that power can be wielded against the very people who once enjoyed its protection. Liberals, the champions of unrestrained speech in the 1960s, now vote as a bloc in Congress to support speech restrictions. Yet already in countries such as Canada, England and Australia, leftist critics of Islam have become the victims of hate laws, indicted for religious "hate speech."
Leftist artists Rowan Atkinson and Salman Rushdie realize hate laws don't just threaten white nationalists like David Duke but liberals as well- they recently fought for revision of Britain's hate law because it could be used to outlaw art that blasphemes or criticizes religion. Atkinson and Rushdie are just a few of hate laws' leftist critics who know that persons of all political persuasions have a stake in defeating this legislation.
6. Speech bans chill legitimate and valuable speech.
Under the threat of possible indictment, many people will refrain from discussing controversial but important ideas. Speech bans are often broad and vague, leaving citizens unsure what might get them hauled into court.
This is what has happened in American workplaces, where hostile work environment law has left many employees unsure what they can say. Many Americans avoid all controversial speech and voluntarily refrain from exercising First Amendment rights at work. Hate laws would extend this dangerous minefield to the national political scene.
Legal philosopher Edmond Cahn points out that speech bans would leave our bookshelves empty. "[T]he officials could begin by prosecuting anyone who distributes the Christian gospels, because they contain many defamatory statements not only about Jews but also about ChristiansThen the officials could ban Greek literature for calling the rest of the world "barbarians." Roman authors could be suppressed because when they were not defaming the Gallic and Teutonic tribes, they were disparaging the ItaliansThen there is Shakespeare, who openly affronts the French, the Welsh, the Danes" (Beyond the Burning Cross, E. Cleary, Random House, 1994)
7. Speech bans greatly reduce the possibility of healthy, democratic change.
Criminalizing speech that expresses "hate" or "bias" would require us to outlaw history's most valuable speech, especially the political and religious speech that threatens social stasis and ignites progress.
Aggressive speech is often the only tool available to political, social, or religious minorities whose access to government lobbying and mass media is limited. Those agitating for social change often need to use inflammatory and even "hateful" language to startle the public into hearing their message. Socrates compared himself to a horsefly biting the lazy flanks of his republic. We should certainly know enough by now to prefer the annoyance of stinging speech (even when we don't see its value) to a tyrannical majority that plods, unchallenged, toward slavery.
Americans are so used to our mudslinging, no-holds-barred political discourse that we find it hard to envision the way freedom of speech could disappear. But the freedom we enjoy is extremely rare in history, and quickly lost. Free expression for intellectuals is the first thing to go when tyrants rise to power; the history of oppressive regimes makes it clear that freedom of political speech is a delicate exception and the overarching tendency is for majorities or elites to get power and silence all opposition.
8. The government's interest in reducing violent crime does not outweigh our interest in preserving civil liberty.
Hate law advocates including the ADL argue that hateful speech incites violence, and appeal to the government's interest in reducing violent crime. But it would be unfair to ban, for instance, white racist speech or Christian sermons against homosexuality without also banning the plethora of other speech that might incite crime. Gangsta rap and videogames would be open to censure; we would also have to ban pornography, especially sadomasochistic porn, which certainly inspires violence against women.
Yet bans against these kinds of speech have been repeatedly declared unconstitutional. The government has an interest in lowering violent crime of all stripes but has always found the value of the First Amendment to be greater. It's unjust to argue that a few kinds of speech must be banned because they possibly incite violence (e.g., criticism of Jewish actions or homosexuality) yet permit huge categories of speech (violent sexual entertainment) that do the same. This would happen, however, under hate laws' unequal and partial enforcement. The ADL is not truly driven by the desire to reduce violent crime but rather to enforce a social and political orthodoxy.
Instead of passing a hate law that would shatter the First Amendment and impossibly complicate law enforcement, people concerned with hate-driven crimes should focus on improving our existing justice system and making sure hard crimes don't go unpunished.
9. Speech bans are offensively paternalistic.
They presume we can't think for ourselves, reject racist or hateful ideas for ourselves, or deal with the hurt caused by others' free expression. Are we such children that we need the government to cover our ears? Speech bans especially condescend toward the minorities they portray as helpless victims whose feelings must be sheltered from ideas they can't combat in a free intellectual market.
10. Speech bans permit government to do something an individual could not morally do.
Frederic Bastiat's classic treatise on The Law says government exists only to prevent injustice by defending our basic rights to person, liberty, and property. Government does not exist to guarantee our economic outcomes, redistribute our wealth, or protect our psyches. Speech bans would empower government to silence individuals by force. This is immoral whether it's one person silencing another person or the government silencing a fringe group of dissenters. Human fallibility requires at least enough humility to allow others to question, challenge, and dissent from our ideas. John Stuart Mill explains, "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
11. Speech bans deny self-determination and individual freedom by criminalizing self-expression.
By censoring speech, hate laws censor thought and restrict our access to ideas. This is the essence of mind control. They deny the personal growth that comes from sharing ideas-including hateful, prejudiced, or false ideas-and having them challenged in a free intellectual marketplace.
Hate law speech bans have been repeatedly declared unconstitutional and would rend the very foundation of our freedom and democracy. Far from combating hate, The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is actually the most hateful and enslaving legislation to ever reach Congress; it would invade states' rights in law enforcement, enabling a hate crimes bureaucracy to police our thoughts and expression. Government could censor by force all speech that dissents from the reigning orthodoxy. Every American must speak up now in defense of the freedom for which our forefathers gave their very lives.
Freedom of expression is one of the most fundamental rights that individuals enjoy. It is fundamental to the existence of democracy and the respect of human dignity. It is also one of the most dangerous rights, because freedom of expression means the freedom to express one's discontent with the status quo and the desire to change it. As such, it is one of the most threatened rights, with governments - and even human rights groups - all over the world constantly trying to curtail it.
Make your voice heard today or it will be silenced tomorrow.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government. . . lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
"Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle! Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
Edward R. Murrow
"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it."
"“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
"You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists."
Martin Luther King Jr.
"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. "