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passive resistancea method of nonviolent protest against laws or policies in order to force a change or secure concessions; it is also known as nonviolent resistance and is the main tactic of civil disobediencecivil disobedience,
refusal to obey a law or follow a policy believed to be unjust. Practitioners of civil disobedience usual base their actions on moral right and employ the nonviolent technique of passive resistance in order to bring wider attention to the injustice.
..... Click the link for more information. . Passive resistance typically involves such activities as mass demonstrations, refusal to obey or carry out a law or to pay taxes, the occupation of buildings or the blockade of roads, labor strikes, economic boycotts, and similar activities.
Possibly originating with the Quakers, it was adopted by Africans, Indians, and U.S. civil-rights and anti–Vietnam War protesters. Among its most articulate advocates have been GandhiGandhi, Mohandas Karamchand
, 1869–1948, Indian political and spiritual leader, b. Porbandar. In South Africa
Educated in India and in London, he was admitted to the English bar in 1889 and practiced law unsuccessfully in India for two years.
..... Click the link for more information. , who maintained that action needs to be accompanied by love and a willingness to search for the truth, and Martin Luther KingKing, Martin Luther, Jr.,
1929–68, American clergyman and civil-rights leader, b. Atlanta, Ga., grad. Morehouse College (B.A., 1948), Crozer Theological Seminary (B.D., 1951), Boston Univ. (Ph.D., 1955).
..... Click the link for more information. , Jr., who called for "tough-mindedness and tenderheartedness." Two of the most massive examples of passive resistance were the SolidaritySolidarity,
Polish independent trade union federation formed in Sept., 1980. Led by Lech Wałęsa, it grew rapidly in size and political power and soon posed a threat to Poland's Communist government by its sponsorship of labor strikes and other forms of public protest.
..... Click the link for more information. movement in Poland (1980–81) and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia (1989). Opponents of passive resistance as a means of forcing a change in policy have criticized it for potentially fostering a general disrespect for law that could result in anarchy.