Comments about ‘Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Cliven Bundy and Tim DeChristopher: Is civil disobedience ever justified?’

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Published: Saturday, May 17 2014 10:00 p.m. MDT

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Durham, NC

"Rosa Parks succeeded because she had a strategy and everyone knew why she was violating the law."

To put Bundy and Roaa Parks in the same utterance almost makes me ill to think about. Yes, Rosa Parks was successful, but how many times were those before he put in jail for the same actions. How many times was Martin Lurther King and his supporters jailed for their actions. In doing what they did, the did so knowing they were going to be jailed. That was the price they were willing to pay.... because the cause was just.

On the other hand we have a rancher who doesn't want to pay his bills, so he turns it quest to get out of paying his bills into a cause. There are those who on both sides of the political spectrum that are fighting just fights for what they believe in - how our country should manage our public lands. They do so far the good of many.. Bundy isn't one of those. He does what he does apparently for his own benefit.

If the ATV riders get fined, they should pay those fines as the cost of a just fight.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

The differences?

Tim DeChristopher was tree-hugging Liberal, who without weapons or threats of violence, protested against BIG oil -- and HE actually went to jail!

Cliven Bundy, and the ATV riders had guns, were protesting the mean 'ol nasty Government, and didn't even get fined for trespassing.

Can Conservatives tell the difference?
I didn't think so either.

Springville, UT

There is a difference between DeChristopher and Bundy. DeChristopher did not act for his own selfish, economic interests. Bundy is acting for his own greed. DeChristopher accepted the judgement and consequences of the courts, while Bundy flaunts 20 years of court decisions. Bundy should be in jail. His only stand on principle is his pocketbook.

Salt Lake City, UT

Thanks for a thoughtful and reasoned analysis. Truly "fair and balance".

Jeremy Parker
Petersburg, Alaska

"not so fast. Who gets to decide when a law is in violation? If everyone gets to decide for themselves, then we have anarchy."

The justification or lack comes organically if we are right. Every man following his conscience does not an anarchy make. As the Declaration of Independence states, "prudence dictates" when it is wise to act and when the cause is sufferable (to serve the greater good/rule of law).

The rule of law cannot be absolute or unalienable rights are indeed a creation of the state and thus quite alienable. The rule of law of right ought to be subject to the discretion and the consciences of those "separate but equal" by nature. And in fact the Declaration declares defiance of the rule of corrupted law as not only right, but duty!

I don't advocate rebellion or revolution since we as a nation nor groups of us posses the requisite moral authority to replace this with something better, but the causes articulated in the Declaration of Independence pale compared to our awful situation!

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

If you want to use civil disobedience to get a point across, you should be willing to suffer the consequences. Its also helpful to have your chief spokesperson not be someone who thinks slavery was a great idea and should re-instituted.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Bundy isn't protesting some unfair law!

Bundy is merely trying to skip out of paying his fees.

I'm sorry, but this is like me refusing to pay an electric bill and then complaining about my electricity being turned off.

West Bountiful, UT

Ask Ghandi.

West Bountiful, UT

Anyone who is willing to exercise civil disobedience must be willing to pay the price. This is the sometimes missing element about civil disobedience. Ghandi was aware of it, I suspect Bundy and DeChristopher were. These, among others, paid the price, some won, some lost. If you believe in something and are willing to go to jail for that belief, then you have my respect. For those who are LDS and disagree, just remember our own history. Sometimes taking the civil route, running the legal gambit of those more powerful and better funded, is fruitless. You have to take a stand.

Burley, ID

"I don't advocate rebellion or revolution since we as a nation nor groups of us posses the requisite moral authority to replace this with something better, ..." - Jeremy Parker

I strongly disagree, the founders of our nation have stated that "We the People" have the right to replace it.

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, ... it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

The Declaration of Independence - Action of the Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Civil disobedience comes with sacrifice. Just what has Bundy sacrificed? To put Bundy in the same frame as MLK or Rosa Parks is ludicrous.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I want to know from Webb, as well, was Rosa Parks and MLK were right or did they need to wait for legislative redress for their causes? And I would guess this might be a problematic thing about state rights and states making laws. Ultimately, federal response was needed to move the Civil Rights movement forward and guarantee that these God-Given rights, as Webb described, were available to all citizens. The normal legislative channels weren't open or would have been so slow that it would take generations. I would even say Bundy has something to fight for in regards to some issues, but unless he and his supporters are prepared to sacrifice for their cause, other than some time riding ATV's on federal lands, they aren't participating in true civil disobedience.

La Verkin, UT

I encourage all who want to comment on this to fully inform themselves as to both sides of the Bundy issue. Many statements about what he is doing or has done are incorrect. As for me, the big issue that I was going to civilly disobey was to travel down there and step out of the "free speech zone" and indicate my disagreement with that particular nonsense. This country is a free speech zone and no bureaucrat has the right to stick those who want to speak out in a fenced area half a mile from the news and government people so they can't be heard. There are very few places in this country where we are not free to speak out openly unless we are inciting to riot or yelling "fire" in a crowded building. Too bad they took down the free speech zone before I could get there. I might be in jail today.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Thoreau volunteered to go to jail rather than pay tax to support the unjust Mexican War. ML King went to jail gladly. DeChristopher went to jail willingly. If Cliven Bundy and the yahoos of San Juan County really mean what they say, let them show up at the local federal lockup and demand entrance. Otherwise, they're all talk.

Horses Star
Spanish Fork, UT

I wonder if these acts of defiance stem from a greater problem. I witness a government that takes land from families, from the public, from economic growth and makes it a protected land on the a false pretense that everyone knows is a lie.
We have a government that is buying millions of rounds of ammunition again under a pretense.
We have a government that uses the mantra that we should do as they say and not as they do.
We have a government that is printing money that decrease the very dollar that we use to keep our families alive
We have a stock market that is inflating the market similar to 2007 and then the money from our savings disappears into a black hole, making many rich and the masses poor.
I wonder if the people of America are starting to wake up and these are the grass roots beginnings?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

If Mr. Bundy can occupy federal land free of charge because he has a cadre of gun toting followers, I should be able to take control of that federal land with my even larger and better armed cadre of followers, right?

He is advocating that might can defy the rule of law. The result is the law of the jungle - might makes right. I can take whatever I can defend with firepower. A return to the government of warlords.

No thank you.

La Verkin, UT

@HB. "What has Bundy sacrificed?" I know his daughter and I know some of the people that have been there at his ranch. They have sacrificed a lot and until you know the facts of what they have been through it might be better to reserve judgement. They have been threatened with being shot, they have been manhandled and some have been jailed. They have had their property invaded, their cattle killed and have to have bodyguards at their home and with them if they ever leave the home. They have had to feed the people that have gone there to help them. They have a reasonable claim of injustice. They have 51 (out of 52) of the local ranchers in their area run out of business by the unjust tactics of the BLM, so yea, I think they have sacrificed. Just take the time to research a little before you make judgements.

Woodland Hills, UT

DeChristopher lied and mis represented himself.

Moab, UT

So all those people flying by me at over 80mph one the freeway in SL a week ago, were really anarchist that were protesting Govt. imposed speed limits. People that live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

No ShaunMcC, I'll stand by my judgements except for the fact that I didn't like the government taking their cattle.

Dr. King ultimately gave up his life for the cause and was arrested many times. Many other Civil Rights workers were jailed and beaten, and some also paid the ultimate price. See, these people were actually arrested and beaten and SHOT, not just threatened to be shot. And they protested unarmed and didn't fight back. There is no historical parallel here. It's nice that the Bundy's fed their supporters and let them camp out or whatever, but let's not put this on the same level as Dr. King or the Freedom Riders. As stated before, when they show up and say arrest me I've broken the law and I'm willing to be arrested to bring attention to changing the law, then I will be impressed. Until then not so much...

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