TOXIC TOUR OF TEXAS
1988-1992
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LES BREEDING
Panhandle

      PRACTICING CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE for me is part of an overall strategy, with many parts to it. One is, and it is one of the early stages, is to actually place yourself in the position of being arrested. It is a very strong way to bring initial attention to an issue that needs to be brought into focus publicly. It’s a way of dramatically showing that this deserves attention, and illustrates the fact that these people feel so strongly about this, that this is such a bad deal, they are willing to go to jail for it by standing up in the strongest way they know. And this needs to be coupled with other kinds of political action of creating a larger mass movement that can actually work politically, and start changing the system.
      We have a secondary purpose, and that is to make it so that other people can be involved in civil disobedience without having to put themselves at as much risk as what we did. We certainly have not paid a huge price, but we have put ourselves at a lot more risk than most people can really handle by facing six months in jail.
      Our goal is to educate the people of the county that this is that big of a deal, folks. These are people being arrested for praying in front of a weapons facility.
We can all get used to this is idea. And if you want to cart us off the road, or give us a ticket, or want to throw us in jail overnight, that’s ok, but it seems pretty weird to tell people you are going to put them in jail for six months, which was the very strong message the prosecutors were giving initially. We are a very non-violent group; we are intentionally non-violent, and there’s no way we will be anything but non-violent.
      The arrest stance does not necessarily need to take place at the beginning, it can be at any time in the process; it can be used several times in the process. Most of the time people do it in the beginning so that it can get that initial attention that an issue needs so that the people that will be interested in the issue will come to it. Like in the civil rights days; they needed to start off with boycotts and lunch counter sit-ins and such, so that down through time, after the mass movement was created, they were able to push through the Civil Rights Act in Congress. And those actions needed to happen. Unfortunately, these actions still need to happen.