Many activists, for good reason, stay within legal boundaries. No matter how restrictive the laws are, changing them through the legislative process or through other official means is oft-viewed as the best, or the only, way to engage in political action.
However, as one of the greatest civil rights champions in history famously stated, there is another way: civil disobedience.
“One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.”
-Martin Luther King
It is this path that Gavin Seim, a liberty speaker, father, and photographer in Washington state, has taken throughout his life. It is also this path that led him to organize a rally of over 1,000 gun owners in direct defiance of Initiative 594, which criminalized the sharing and mere handing over of firearms in the state. On December 13th, Gavin and his team brought thousands of gun owners to Washington state’s capitol lawn, and put together one of the largest felony civil disobedience rallies in American history.
To date, none of the ralliers have been arrested or charged with a violation of I-594.
We asked him why and how he put this rally together, why violating the law is necessary, and how you can duplicate this type of nonviolent, peaceful, civil disobedience in your state and for your issue.
Join The Solutions Institute for ActCon, an Online Activist training Conference on February 7th, 2015. Click here to find out more.
Dan Johnson is the President and Founder of the Solutions Institute. Want to discuss this topic more? Invite Dan on your radio show, to your group, or just send him an email at thesolutionsinstitute [at] gmail.com.