Political dissent

Political dissent refers to any expression designed to convey dissatisfaction with or opposition to the policies of a governing body. Such expression may take forms from vocal disagreement to civil disobedience to the use of violence. Historically, repressive governments have sought to punish political dissent. The protection of freedoms that facilitate peaceful dissent has become a hallmark of free and open societies.

Individual rights

*Free speech, free press
*Soap box, Speakers' Corner, blog (weblog)
*Prior restraint, censorship, self-censorship, censor
*Freedom of assembly
*Feminism, ERA, equal pay, Title IX
*Gay rights, Stonewall

Famous political dissenters

*Steve Biko
*Nelson Mandela
*Martin Luther King, Jr.
*Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon papers
*Eugene McCarthy

General Topics

*Free thinker
*Activist, Activism, political organizer, radical
*Dissident, political prisoner, prisoner of conscience
*Conscientious objector, pacifist, anti-war movement
*Enlightenment, political awareness, sheeple
*Civics, political science
*Popular movements, populist, populism
*Investigative reporter, reformer, reform, muckraker, whistle blower
*Schism, secession
*Politically correct


*Protests, demonstrations, peace march, protest march
*Boycotts, sit-ins, riots, organizing committees, grassroots organizing
*Strike, general strike, street action
*Bumper stickers, flyers, political posters
*Street theater, political puppets
*Burning in effigy
*Self-immolation (setting self on fire)
*Revolution, Revolt, Rebellion, Palestinian Intifada, Insurrection, popular uprising
*Propaganda, counter-propaganda, slogans, sloganeering, meme


*Protests against the Vietnam War, Kent State shootings, Jane Fonda ("Hanoi Jane")
*Make love not war
*1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago
*Paris 1968
*Nuclear war protests: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, "Ban the Bomb", mass action, peace sign
*Counter-culture, 1960s
*Generation gap, Silent Majority, Moral Majority
*Abbie Hoffman, Yippie, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
*Timothy Leary, "Turn on, tune in, drop out", communes, back-to-the-land movement


*Tiananmen Square, Democracy Wall Movement
*Sharpeville massacre
*Leonard Peltier, American Indian Movement, Wounded Knee, Ruby Ridge
*228 Incident


*Political party, political faction, factionalism, splinter group, special interest group
*Green Party
*Third political party, Third party (United States)


*House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC), blacklisting, witch hunt
*Secret police, secret trial, Star Chamber, torture, police brutality
*J. Edgar Hoover using FBI against political dissenters like King and Lennon
*Stalinism, Maoism, Gang of Four, Cultural Revolution
*Purges, Gulag, "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov
*Political re-education, thought crime
*Pinochet Chile
*Palmer raids
*Sedition Act (early US history), treason
*Authoritarianism, fascism, Orwell's 1984, "Animal Farm"

Protest songs, protest music

*John Lennon, Yoko Ono, "Imagine"
*Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan
*Phil Ochs
*Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, "Alice's Restaurant
*"Eve of Destruction", Canned Heat (band)
*Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World", "This Note's for You"
*Punk rock


*Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Dick Gregory
*Political satire, editorial cartoon
*"Spitting Image", satire on TV, "Saturday Night Live"


*Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
*Jesse Jackson
*Segregation, integration, desegregation busing, "separate but equal"
*Civil rights protests, Rosa Parks, Lunch counter sitins


*Ku Klux Klan
*Christian dissent, anti-abortion (pro-life movement)
*Gdańsk Shipyard takeover, 1980, Lech Wałęsa
*Hungarian Revolt 1956, East German revolt (1950s), Prague Spring 1968
*Separatism, Quebec separatism, October crisis, Louis Riel, Basques
*Socrates condemned to death by hemlock
*White backlash, reverse discrimination
*American Revolution, Boston Tea Party
*Greenpeace, "Rainbow Warrior"
*Anarchists vs. globalism
*PETA, animal liberation
*Earth Day
*Terrorism, freedom fighter
*Eco-terrorism, Earth First, tree sitter, tree spiking
*Berlin Wall coming down, graffiti on it, the mass border crossings in Germany in 1989 (year?)
*Charter 77 informal civic initiative in Czechoslovakia from 1977 to 1992

ee also

*List of Chinese dissidents

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