Friday, February 08, 2013
David Byrne on Civil Disobedience
David Byrne has written an essay on the subject of civil disobedience. Though Byrne’s thoughts on the subject are largely focused on the Aaron Swartz case, or free sharing of information generally, it is still an interesting read. To Byrne’s credit, he does highlight that civil disobedience, and freely choosing to suffer the consequences thereof, sets a fine example for others to follow by quoting the following.
And he [Randy Kehler, a draft resister] said this very calmly. I hadn’t known that he was about to be sentenced for draft resistance. It hit me as a total surprise and shock, because I heard his words in the midst of actually feeling proud of my country listening to him. And then I heard he was going to prison. It wasn’t what he said exactly that changed my worldview. It was the example he was setting with his life. How his words in general showed that he was a stellar American, and that he was going to jail as a very deliberate choice—because he thought it was the right thing to do. There was no question in my mind that my government was involved in an unjust war that was going to continue and get larger. (bold by ed.)