Civil Disobedience


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Civil Disobedience

I am certain in this day and age everyone has heard of Henry David Thoreau and his famous Essay "On Civil Disobedience".

Today in class (A focus program called Power to the People) we got a rather fascinating assignment, and I asked the teacher if I could petition others to help with the brainstorming process. He of course, loves that idea, so here it goes.

1) You must organize and complete an action that would make Henry David Thoreau proud. Conditions: you must not hurt anybody (including yourself), and you must not destroy or damage any property.

2) You must write a defence of your action in an informal essay. The essay will be 1200 words. Although the tone, style, and rhetorical devices are up to the individual student please be aware that to be effectively persuasive it must include Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Ensure to use many devices to persuade the read (who may also be the vice-principal) that you were just in your reasoning, action and your cause.
One other important factor is that in this, and in Thoreau's essays, he advocated that you take the punishment the government dispenses. So please try not to get me suspended, comit any felonies, etc..."

So, incase this isn't clear, I am looking for ideas of things that I can do to be chaotic, disruptive, annoying, that are reasonable protests and have strong justification. Some of my ideas so far:

Barricade the washrooms, because our students are morons and make a mess of them. The idea being to tell the students off for making a mess of the washrooms.

Barricading the halways. Many of our students are morons, and stand in big clumps, preventing traffic flow. Especially because we're up from 500 students 5 years ago to 725 now, we need people moving. And it is impossible to get to classes when you have a clump of 30 people blocking the halway. So barricading it, showing how impossible it would be and generally disrupting things would make a point in a reasonable way.

Barricading the Cafetaria and Vending Machines - Protest the sale of fast food/junk food, insist on healthier options, insist on vegetarian and vegan options, which are lacking, etc.

Barricading student services, and particular teacher's classrooms - They are inept. They continually do stupid things. They shouldn't have their jobs - particularily the teacher that leaves for 40 minutes, comes back with tim horton's coffee, considering the nearest Tim Horton's is 20 minutes each way.

Planting trees and a flower garden in the front, protesting the fact the school is dull, boring, and pretty-anti nature. It'd be even more fun to make a forest on one of the soccer fields. Over night.

Refusing to do the assignment - Ironic, yes. Civil disobedience, yes. But it lacks a strong reason - besides, it becomes paradoxical. The assignment is to demonstrate civil disobedience. Refusing to do the assignment is civil disobedience. By refusing to do the assignment, I am doing the assignment. Then I write a 1200 word informal report on how I refused to do the assignment. But the report is part of the assignment. And if I don't do the report, I'm not doing the assignment. And if I'm not doing the assignment, I am not doing an act of civil disobedience, so I am not refusing to do the assignment, so I am writing the report.

There was something else that really bugged me - recently, the "Red Friday" e-mail forward was read over the announcement. My general problems with this were:
1) Sappy, stupid, long, e-mail forward.
2) There is both a Canadian and American version. If you want to put a message forth, please write it yourself and make it somewhat personal.
3) I know the student that read it. They weren't actually in Trenton. Nor were their Canadian soldiers there last week. And they weren't at a conference. They were in school. It's lying.
4) The article shows a fair bit of conservative bias, which is all fine and dandy. I don't really object - however, last year, we ran a mock election for the federal election - we got heck for reading announcements, 3 line bio's on each of the parties running in our riding (Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Green, Marijuana, Reform Party). When we finally got permission to do them, it was on the condition that they we're unbiased, and that we covered all parties equally, with the same amount of information.

The same vice principal that forced the above ruling on the bio's for each party also approved this announcement.

So I'd really like a strong, constructive way to protest that, although if anyone has any good idea's, I am truly looking forward to what people come up with.

Thanks in Advance