we will not comply
Dan Z. for TTAG
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By Olivia Rondeau

In response to the COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates, the phrase “we will not comply” and sentiments of civil disobedience have become increasingly popular.

Parents at school board meetings have been chanting the famous phrase to protest school districts forcing their children to wear masks while attending school this upcoming semester. In Williamson County, TN, parents protested outside their children’s school building after the board voted to mandate masks in schools.

Senator Rand Paul welcomes the phenomenon, recently writing in a Fox News op-ed, “I think the tide has turned, and more and more people are willing to stand up. I see stories from across the country of parents standing up to teacher unions and school boards. I see members of Congress refusing to comply with Petty Tyrant Pelosi.”

In another notable instance of civil disobedience against COVID-19 mandates, Tesla’s Elon Musk reopened his production plant last year in defiance of the county official who had ordered that it must remain closed. “Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules,” Musk stated. “I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.”

Some may see the “we will not comply” movement as a modern trend, but civil disobedience has a rich history in America. As Amy Swearer of the Heritage Foundation points out, the phrase harkens back to the anti-slavery abolitionist movement.

“Non-compliance with federal laws mandating the return of escaped slaves was rampant throughout northern states prior to the Civil War,” Swearer wrote in The Argus Observer. “In 1850, the Vermont legislature went so far as to pass a law effectively requiring state judicial and law enforcement officers to act in direct opposition to the federal Fugitive Slave Law.”

Non-compliance continued on to become the driving force behind the Civil Rights Movement.

“Some of the most revered figures of the Civil Rights Era were actually brought to the national spotlight by acts of non-compliance,” says Hannah Cox of FEE. “Rosa Parks refused to comply with a city ordinance mandating segregated buses that would force her to the back of the bus. Hundreds refused to comply with state laws by engaging in sit-ins. Martin Luther King, Jr. had several stints in jail for his repeated refusals to comply with court orders.”

Back when the American colonies were still under British rule, the colonialists’ responses to tyranny were what led us to becoming the independent nation we are today. Practicing freedom of speech and assembly was just one of the tamer methods that our founding fathers used to achieve liberty from an authoritarian government. Non-compliance is American at it’s core.

Jeff Hulbert Patriot Picket
Patriot Picket’s Jeff Hulbert is removed after protesting at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on banning “assault weapons” on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This tradition carries on today in the current battle for less government control over our day-to-day lives.

“If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth—certainly the machine will wear out…,” American philosopher Henry David Thoreau wrote in On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. “… But if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine.”

Thoreau makes the point that our natural rights are constantly threatened by government overreach, and it is up to us to stand up and protect them.

Not only is it moral to disobey laws that infringe on individual rights, it is morally necessary. Jim Crow segregation ended because people broke the law. Chattel slavery ended because people broke the law. So, for modern forms of government tyranny, such as medical mandates, it is clear that non-compliance is necessary to successfully fight back, despite the dangers that naturally accompany such a response.

The German-Swiss poet Herman Hesse once observed that people who refuse to comply with unjust laws are often persecuted, shunned, and hated in their own time. Yet he also noted these same individuals are often the very ones later revered for their courage, sacrifice, and commitment to truth.

“That society which praises and demands obedience to their arbitrary laws as the highest virtue amongst the living,” Hesse, a Nobel Prize-winning writer, observed, “that same society adds especially those to their pantheon, who bid defiance to these demands and would rather lose their lives than betray their willfulness.”

Olivia Rondeau is
 a political science major at the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, where I’m also a member of the wrestling team.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.


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  1. Well I would suggest a nation wide strike in all areas of life until this Administration either changes its attitude toward American Citizens and our Nation or resigns from office. Lets shut down the Federal Government, all hospitals and health care places, all prisons and jails, stop going to all businesses, and every facet of American Life. When people have had enough perhaps they will agree that a not so peaceful march on Washington is the real solution to this problem. The Founding Fathers said on numerous occasions that when Government becomes tyrannical it is the right of We The People to replace it by whatever means necessary. We need to stop being nice compliant people and fight back. Enough is enough. These people don’t even follow their own rules for us and regardless what anyone says they did cheat big time in the last election and are continuing to do so right now in California with their ridiculous election procedures for voting.

  2. A great Act of civil disobedience is to openly carry a firearm. Assuming you can legally do so. Because you are showing defiance to those who believe you have no civil rights. Always be polite if you’re confronted. And just smile and walk away from them.
    I do it all the time.

  3. Disobedience? But loyalty to Trump… right? lol. tools.

    Call the revolution when you find middle ground in freedom. It’s chaotic, it’s dangerous. It doesn’t require a president or government.

    • Don’t lie. Most of you were just mad that 2020 was along the closest we ever were to regaining control, and most of you sat back and criticized the 7% of violence that caused 1.2 billion in damages instead of being part of the 93% that kept communities in check. Regardless of what we disagree with and why, we had a chance. Then, in 2021 most of you criticized the storming of the capital. So what the fuck do you want? Disobedience?

      No. You want the same as the rest of the “victims”. Piece of mind. You want to believe someone else has your best interests at heart. You want to believe that voting gives you freedom. You are all loyalists.

      • Amerika is no longer what it used to be, and Amerikans are no longer the people that value freedom. In the end, every nation gets the government that it deserves.

      • montana…Besides your finger pointing post being noticeably free of the past 8 months of biden do do…

        A foolish minority broke off from a peaceful gathering that was organized to show support for POTUS DJT and America. Pointing such a mistake out was prudent.

        To imply weakness is a big mistake on your part. You mix your ersatz Art of War imagination with a gathering that consisted of a lot of families who showed up to support POTUS DJT. They did not show up to storm anything. The proof of that is they left their guns and cans of whoopass and through talking at home. That you can take to the bank.

      • “So what the fuck do you want? Disobedience?”

        Introspectively, the one thing I’d suggest, is the one thing it’s not prudent to suggest.


    • Montana,

      We did this in 1776, and we did a variation in 1864. Ultimately, the first one worked out fine (except our failure to maintain it). The second one, not so much. We did get rid of slavery (which we should have done in 1776, or even before), but at the cost of better than 600,000 lives, and dramatically increased federal government control and power.

      I agree with you philosophically – we not only have the right, we have the DUTY, when we find government oppressive and intrusive, to resist it by ‘whatever means necessary’. But that does NOT mean abandoning common sense and prudence. A civil war is the nastiest of wars – and we Americans know that better than anyone. It may become necessary, but it is ALSO our duty to make it the last resort. KNOWING (not ‘thinking’ or ‘believing’ but KNOWING) how bloody awful (choice of words intentional) that is going to be, we also have a duty not to ‘pull the trigger’ too early. And reasonable minds can differ as to whether we are “there” yet, or not. But just because someone looks at the same facts as you, and evaluates them differently, does NOT make them “wrong”.

      I will thank you not to make ignorant assumptions about either my commitment to liberty, or my willingness to put it all on the line when I think it is necessary. I don’t find ignorant exhortations of keyboard warriors motivating – I find them presumptuous and annoying. But, you do you. Want to kick off the boogaloo tomorrow? Be my guest. I’ll make my OWN decision about when, and if, I choose to join. And if you don’t like that? You know what you can kiss.

      • The problem is that we are already in a Civil War. Their side started it and they are prosecuting it and winning it. Almost bloodlessly, but in a war nevertheless. They have so far conquered all the administrative agencies, they have taken over the legislature and most of the judicial system, beaten us on every cultural battlefield, they own most of the paramilitary and practically the entire military establishment, yet we are still contemplating “if or when” the war may begin… The genius of this war is that they have won every engagement so far and left us little to hold on to, while we still haven’t realized that we’re in a war.

  4. The main reason they’re attempting all these draconian mandates and threats, is they believed the majority of the country was finally dumb enough to go along with it!!

    • Not so sure about that. So much of what’s being pushed out is so patently overreaching and absurd…I wonder if certain elements of TPTB are trying to foment a societal schizm leading to a collapse. This all just smells too funny. It’s all going a bit too lockstep with the stereotypical plan of how to destroy a nation from within.

      • I think they are trying to burn the country down. Their globalist Luciferian and/or Chinese communist party overlords need the USA to go away. The country descending into chaos would do that.

        I use to wonder if these people were really that stupid, or if it was something more nefarious. The last 18 months has cleared that up. Nefarious

      • That is exactly what they’re doing. Whether they’re trying specifically or not is beside the point. What they don’t understand is that while it’s still possible for all of us to lose, they can’t win.

        Fuck them. They may even be able to convince themselves they’ve won, but in the end they’ll only find ignominy and death.

    • Personally, I think it’s just a “Red meat for the base” thing. They’ve got some gubernatorial elections to wind their side up for. I don’t think they really understand how dangerous this level of gaslighting is. Especially when they’re also talking about other things like erasing all parental rights because people [who disagree with the the current iteration of Democrats in any way] are too stupid to make choices about their kids.

      It’s irresponsible as Hell but basically expected after the last six months.

      The scale moves a touch in favor of Algeria.

  5. I’m happy to be the slave of Jesus Christ.
    He edured the cross that I deserved, and rose from the dead. Biden and Fauci are another matter altogether.

  6. Failure to comply with mask rules for school board disobedience gets you ejected from the venue or maybe…MAYBE…a weekend in jail.

    Failure to comply with gun laws gets you 2 years in prison, loss of job, bankruptcy and slapped with a gun felony badge for the rest of your life.

    I respect gun law civil disobedience, I really do. but I lack the courage to do it.

  7. “Imagine a vaccine so safe you have to be threatened to use it, for a disease so deadly you have to be tested to know if you have it.” –Some other guy on the internet

    • The vaccine works! Now wear this mask, because the vaccine doesn’t really work. Actually it works perfectly; follow the science, rube! Now put on your mask again, because this vaccine needs a booster probably. Anyway, your mask is to protect OTHER people, dunce! COVID only transmits east to west, not west to east, and only on Tuesdays as long as you aren’t buying gardening supplies or walking outside by yourself. I can’t believe you haven’t gotten vaccinated, you selfish clod. You’re the reason so many vaccinated people are getting sick. Here, help me stuff this sick person into a nursing home. Nursing homes cure COVID. Now take off your mask because I’m eating. Now put it on again because exiting this restaurant is how COVID gets made. Here, lick this bat! See how much COVID dripped off it? Pay no attention to that Chinese bioweapons research lab behind you! Its doors and windows are supposed to be open, and anyway you are a bigot for peeking at it. Now put on two masks. Two masks are better than one, except on Fridays and alternating Saturdays. Now dance, puppet! Dance I say!

      Yes, we have always been at war with Eastasia. Why do you ask?

  8. Honestly I don’t much care about what amounts to an unenforceable mandate aboard a rapidly sinking ship.

    What does worry me a bit is the message Biden delivered with it. It was one of anger mixed with contempt and disgust. It was clearly “meant to be heard” by a specific portion of his own party.

    That’s dangerous enough in and of itself. However the targeted portion of his base is already batshit crazy and on the edge of violence without him saying this kind of thing. Saying what he said to the people he said it to is essentially a sitting POTUS stopping a single step short of calling for lynch mobs and basically says it in a “It’s not quite time yet” sort of way.

    IMHO, that’s pretty wild under any circumstances but given the issues facing the country and the preexisting tensions that exist what this guy is doing is downright contemptible. Especially considering the state of the net where a huge percentage of trolls are actually bots and the recent censorship issues have people hot under the collar to begin with, particularly in regard to to quite obviously slanted nature of that censorship.

    Add in the ‘tards who buy into this like that FL doc openly saying “No medical care for the unwashed” and you’ve got yourself a nice little tinderbox.

    Then, of course, there’s the whole set of non-political real-world outcomes here that will only ratchet up tensions further as this whole thing adds to the economic issues already ongoing.

    And honestly, I don’t really think Biden has much clue what’s going on which raises the question of who the actual regent(s) is/are here.

    Interesting times.

  9. Non-compliance of an unjust law leads to contempt for all laws. The tyrants wind up growing their own opposition.

  10. Thats why nobody fills out 4473s and everybody has machine guns and grenade launchers… oh yeah the reality is americans are all about complying

    • The problem with people who hate the 4473 is they don’t want the “Messy Freedom”, that goes with not having to fill out a government form to get a gun.

      You used to be able to shoot criminals dead on site when you caught them robbing, raping, Murdering, stealing, vandalizing or breaking into private property. These people would rather have an enormous court and prison system that currently exists in the United States.

  11. equating the refusal to don a medical mask with the refusal to comply with firearms laws makes no sense. this article cheapens and debases the fight for second amendment. people wasting time bickering over a paper mask are wasting time on a non-issue.

  12. The biggest of tyrants were the greed monger merchants that started the American Revolution and Americans are still paying dearly for their blind greed and authoritarianism.

    The American people were deprived of a truly democratic parliamentary government with multiple political parties. Instead the Tyrants that founded the U.S. denied the right to vote to everyone but themselves. They later, when faced with another revolution, begrudgingly gave the vote to white men while denying it to women and minorities. To counter the effect of all this they introduced the corrupt practice of gerrymandering which made a complete mockery of democracy and later they introduced the corrupt electoral college which let a minority party and minority states rule the Federal Government. This was true slavery. This was the establishment of an entrenched Oligarchy.

    Elections in places like France (whose revolution succeeded while ours failed miserably) prove that other countries do have real democracy and often like France have more freedom of speech as well.

    Parliamentary Governments put Green technology in place long before the U.S. even made feebly attempts to also introduce it, proving how much faster the parliamentary system can get things done compared to the constant warfare between an antiquated, ineffective, and inefficient two party system in the U.S. of Capitalvania which is constantly at war with itself.

    The reluctance to wear masks are the result in criminal Republican Politicians pandering to their totally ignorant Far Right Base by spreading every piece of propaganda and outright lies they could as to the seriousness originally of the pandemic and right now the lies that it is unsafe and ineffective. These criminals should have been jailed and then publically executed for causing the needless deaths of over 600,000 American citizens and the toll is still climbing.

    Vaccines are nothing new they have been required of school age children for generations to persevere the public health and the covid vaccines were nothing new or earth shattering.

    Mask wearing is nothing new either as people wore masks during the 1918 flue pandemic something the undedicated Neanderthals of the far right have never learned. Mask wearing is standard practice in Japan.

    The 2020 flue season was practically zero due to enforced mask wearing. Again proving how effective mask wearing is to the general health of the public. In civilized nations like Japan and South Korea mask wearing is often standard procedure and no one thinks anything about it.

    If anything the disastrous Trump era tore the U.S. apart pitting neighbor against neighbor and even life long friends became deadly enemies showing that President Lincoln was correct when he said “The Nation will never be conquered from without be we will destroy ourselves from within”.

    The current insanity in the U.S. has shown that unlike the Roman Empire which lasted 1,000 years the U.S. is now destroying itself in only a little over 245 years.

    We have destroyed ourselves for the same reasons the Romans did, blind greed and corruption in government, the vast reeducation in immigration, the rich paying no taxes, the common man losing his job because of the blind greed of the rich, too many wars of rape, pillage and conquest that bankrupted the country preventing the country from caring for its own people rather than just pandering to the blind greed and selfishness of filthy rich. Every one of these evils caused both the Roman Empire and the U.S. Empire to self destruct.

      • You put so much stupid, falsehoods, contradictions, and lies, into your deranged posts.

        Here is but one example.

        “The reluctance to wear masks … causing the needless deaths of over 600,000 American citizens and the toll is still climbing.”


        “The 2020 flue season was practically zero due to enforced mask wearing.”

        You are clinically speaking a wack-a-doodle, a nut job.

  13. Just read an interesting article.
    The author posits that Biden’s speech was to start a civil war. A bully, daring us to stand up for ourselves with violence.
    There by justification for more surveillance, gun control, speech control, economic control, etc. and centralized power in a one party government at the federal level.

    The author’s solution, dont take the bait.
    Just say, “No.”
    Stand back and wait for them to make the first violent move.

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