Going to Prison as an Act of Resistance to Empire

Bearing Witness Behind Bars

Image by Emiliano Bar.

In court, the activists will often argue that their actions are either illegal but necessary to stop greater acts of illegality, such as breaking into an armaments factory to stop the production of weapons that violate international law, or that their actions are lawful under statutes that demand citizens stop a given crime from occurring, such as entering a US military base to prevent missiles from being launched from drones.

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T. J. Coles is director of the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research and the author of several books, including Voices for Peace (with Noam Chomsky and others) and  Fire and Fury: How the US Isolates North Korea, Encircles China and Risks Nuclear War in Asia (both Clairview Books).

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