The following article is adapted from a speech delivered at a conference of “Turn Toward Peace.”
I will be talking about direct action as a nonparliamentary, nonelectoral form of struggle for social change—that is, as a political act. I mean deliberately to exclude, at the outset, the purely conscientious form of direct action—that is, acts of protest conducted by individuals as a matter of private conscience or morality, regardless of their political impact. About this form of direct action, there is much to respect but little to say. If an individual refuses as a matter of conscience (be it religious or political conscience) to serve in the armed forces or to pay his income tax, that is one thing. If he urges the...
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