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Nonviolent Protests: An argumentative essay

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From the Boston Tea Party of 1773, the Civil Rights Movement and the Pro-Life Movement of the 1960s, to the Tea Party Movement and Occupy Wall Street Movement of current times, “those struggling against unjust laws have engaged in acts of deliberate, open disobedience to government power to uphold higher principles regarding human rights and social justice” (DeForrest, 1998, p. 653) through nonviolent protests. Perhaps the most well-known of the non-violent protests are those associated with the Civil Rights movement. The movement was felt across the south, yet Birmingham, Alabama was known for its unequal treatment of blacks and became the focus of the Civil Rights Movement. Under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, African-Americans in Birmingham, began daily demonstrations and sit-ins to protest discrimination at lunch counters and in public facilities. These demonstrations were organized to draw attention to the injustices in the city. The demonstrations resulted in the arrest of protesters, including Martin Luther King. After King was arrested in Birmingham for taking part in a peaceful march to draw attention to the way that African-Americans were being treated there, their lack of voter rights, and the extreme injustice they faced in Alabama he wrote his now famous “Letter from Birmingham.”
In order to gain an understanding of King’s purpose for the letter, it is important to begin by explaining “A Call of Unity”, a letter written by a group of white clergymen urging the end to the demonstrations. The letter was published in the Birmingham Post Herald with a copy given to King. The letter made many claims including that the demonstrations were led by ou...


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...ccupy Wall Street Protests Spread Nationwide - ABC News." ABCNews.com: Daily News, Breaking News and Video Broadcasts - ABC News. 6 Oct. 2011. Web. 5 Nov. 2011. .
Haines, Herbert H.. "Black Radicalization and the Funding of the Civil Rights: 1957-1970." Social Problems 32.1 (1984): 31-43. HeinOnline. Web. 5 Nov. 2011.
King, Jr., Martin Luther. “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” King Institute Home. Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, 16 Apr. 1963. Web. 5 Nov. 2011. .
Marshall, Burke . "The Protest Movement and the Law." Virginia Law Review 51.5 (1965): 785- 803. JSTOR. Web. 5 Nov. 2011.


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