Quotations about   activism

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There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part; and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop, And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, the people who own it, that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all.

Mario Savio (1942-1996) American political activist
“Sproul Hall Sit-In Address” (2 Dec 1964)
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Added on 21-Oct-14 | Last updated 21-Oct-14
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Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Sermon, Ebenezer Baptist Church (4 Feb 1968)

Full text. Adaptation by King of the 1952 homily "Drum-Major Instincts" by J. Wallace Hamilton. Paraphrased on the MLK memorial in Washington, DC, as, "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness"; the inscription was later removed.
Added on 3-Sep-11 | Last updated 7-Dec-15
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The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.

Dave Barry (b. 1947) American humorist
“25 Things I Have Learned In 50 Years,” #17 (1997)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Oct-14
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If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who have not been satisfied with their condition you would still be living in caves. You never would have emerged from the jungle. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.

Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) American union leader, activist, socialist, politician
“The Issue,” Speech, Girard, Kansas (23 May 1908)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Jan-15
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