Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Five acts of civil disobedience

I wrote a piece about civil disobedience for The Guardian, which was published earlier this week:

In each of these examples, the key question is neither violence nor non-violence, neither legality, nor illegality; it is disruption. Popular movements are engaged in civil disobedience whenever they recognise the society's dependence on their co-operation, cease co-operating, and actively disrupt its smooth functioning. This moves politicians to spittle-lathered furore. It is the way in which progress is made.

Oddly, I'm now getting messages, tweets and notifications telling me that Spanish newspapers and television are circulating it, though they don't (grumble grumble) mention the name of the author.  The general thrust of it, I think, is that they're jolly miffed that I compared Gordillo, the 'Robin Hood' mayor, to Gandhi.  Because they have been trying to depict his supermarket sweep as an atrocious act of violence.  I can't stop laughing.

While I'm here, I did get some really satisfying feedback on an article I wrote a while back on the Daily Mail's racist twist on a scientific study, when the study's authors wrote in to back me up and denounce the Mail.  That made me laugh for a week.