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Civil Disobedience
Civil Disobedience

Learn English with this civil disobedience English lesson

Date: May 15 2018

Themes: Alternative, News

Grammar: Present Perfect Tense


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No matter where you live, there are probably some things that the government does that you don’t agree with. Often it’s easiest and best to simply follow the rules, but what if the problem is something really important?

When people are sick of a government making bad decisions, they can protest with a march, a mob, or even picket signs that talk about what they don’t agree with. Protestors do take a risk when they stand up for their beliefs. In extreme cases, they might get put in prison or worse.

Somebody is upset with the government. Read this week’s English lesson to find out who wants to protest.


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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  Man, I am just so sick of the government.

Amanda:  Why, what did they do this time?

Marni:  It doesn’t matter. It’s just like every decision they make… I’m just so sick of it. I feel like we should just protest. All these other countries, people, when they don’t like something that’s happening, they just take to the streets. Why can’t we do that here?

Amanda:  I think you should go for it. Nothing gets done, and there are no results from being passive.

Marni:  Yeah, I guess you’re right. I need to stand up for my beliefs, right? No matter what the consequences are.

Amanda:  It never hurts to risk something.

Marni:  That’s true. I’ve always been scared of going to prison or something, but really, no matter what happens, I just need to make my voice heard. Things are just not right right now.

Amanda:  And there’s really nothing more attractive than a protestor.

Marni:  Why do you think a protestor’s attractive?

Amanda:  You’re standing up for what you believe in.

Marni:  That’s attractive?

Amanda:  Absolutely. You’re not being a doormat. Be aggressive, assertive.

Marni:  OK…

Amanda:  Own it!

Marni:  You’re right. I just have to go for it. I have to stand up for my beliefs and not take no for an answer.

Amanda:  I’m going to paint you a picket sign.


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Marni is tired of the bad decisions she thinks the government is making. She feels like she needs to do something, maybe even protest.

Amanda encourages Marni to do what she thinks is right. She tells Marni that sitting around and doing nothing won’t help things get better. Amanda thinks that being assertive is actually really attractive. For her, it’s important that people act on what they believe.

Marni seems to like Amanda’s advice, and decides she’s ready to take a risk. Amanda lets Marni know she’ll help her out by painting a picket sign. That way, everyone will know what Marni thinks.

Have you ever been involved in a protest? What should people do when they disagree with the government?



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La Princesse de la vie


Most governments give NO as an answer, and you only can take it or be forced to take it, generally speaking.

09:30 PM May 15 2018 |



2 amalia-k:

Maybe the rule there is to protest to look attractive. :) It’s a foreign country where people have their own hobbies. Let that “rebels” protest with a march, a mob, or picket signs. I don’t care about them if they take to the streets in their own country.
P.S. As for my country… my hair has been standing on end for several months. So I would rather comment on the lesson “Hair Care”… :(

04:51 PM Jul 17 2014 |


Russian Federation

I am lost for words. This lesson is either terribly honest or horribly naive. Anyway this is a masterpiece.
Girls who have nothing to do but make a protest because it looks cool.
Protest without demands because protesters don’t care about demands.
And consequences which nobody thinks in advance.

All it’s true, I agree, most recent protests look like that. But guys, it’s intended to be kept in secret! At least without declaring it strightforward!

My hair stood on end. 

02:06 PM May 22 2014 |




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Being “civil” is not being “disobedient”.  Being civil is taking on a collective effort in demanding justice. Any person or persons who try and dictate or control the natural right of another’s search for happiness—they are the ones who are not being “civil”—they are uncivilized, and therefore, they are the ones who are perpetrating acts of “civil disobedience”.  

The phrase “civil disobedience” is a contradiction of terms.  The term should be “Disobedience against Civilization”.

Civilized people will work together in safeguarding the rights of a civilized people—the rights of living in peace—being free from dictatorship that would take away one’s rights to search for happiness.

10:45 AM Apr 01 2014 |

1 person likes this




It is wise  for me to stay away from politics.Stay as far as i can….

10:08 AM Apr 01 2014 |




I´ve been in a protest before. Thousands of people marched down the streets nationwide for better public services, more transparency on the part of the government and better management of public funds. I think protesting is a very effective way of making your voice heard. People should stick to their beliefs and not let feelings fizzle out even if it takes quite a while to get your demands met.

03:31 PM Mar 25 2014 |



Civil disabedience is everywhere,and its not only against to goverment,

it can be to another people..

a student can do it to his teacher,

a kid to his parents,

a worker to his boss,

a wife to her husband,

a girl to her boyfriend,

09:10 PM Mar 23 2014 |



Russian Federation

Of course, it’s necessary to stand up for your rights, but you also should realize that you can loose your friends and relatives in such struggle. You should make a choice between personal needs and society needs. If it’s nothing to loose and there are no people who can suffer from your protest, ok you’re welcome with revolution!!! The vow of revolution is”the dead of 100 people is worth nothing that freedom for millions!”

09:09 AM Mar 23 2014 |



After reading I can draw a conclusion…

Marni isn’t sick of the government and knows little of its decisions (“It doesn’t matter”) but she’s pleased with the idea of being “attractive”. Standing up for some beliefs really looks more attractive than working or sitting in front of a television, for example.

Beware of Marni, she’s very assertive and armed with a picket sign! :D


In my opinion if the government doesn’t want to listen to the citizens it wouldn’t do it (

And what means “It never hurts to risk something”? Or I misunderstand it or it’s nonsense…

05:03 PM Mar 22 2014 |



In my country , if u do protest against Govt. then u’ll be a victim. they make a so many false cases against u.

12:13 PM Mar 22 2014 |




I am sorry to say that i disagree  with what Marni  is complaining that in her country people  are doing nothing . There have been huge anti government demontrations in the past and recently  large crowds took to the streets in New york  protesting   on Wall Street   against  bankers` greediness  .

06:50 PM Mar 21 2014 |




We are all sick of  governments , but  in my country in Yemen , if you protest for something  you will be accused that you are belong to another parties , so I am sick of all Political and religious parties . actully everything is getting worse 

05:42 PM Mar 21 2014 |




Ryo, don’t think this way: YOU have right to disagree! YOU have right to think your way cause you’re human.

04:43 PM Mar 21 2014 |

2 people like this

habiba 18

habiba 18


i was iinvolved in many protests befor and i think it’s kind of fun :p  

10:38 AM Mar 21 2014 |



OK, that’s what happened to my country.

I support  they fight for what they want, no matter what it ends up.

And it’s really attractive!!

10:00 AM Mar 21 2014 |

3 people like this




We can’t do that in our country, or you will be in jail….....

06:43 AM Mar 21 2014 |




A good timely topic!  That’s what I’m talking about and I thank Marni and Amanda for raising the standard. 

No, I have never been in a protest although I have lots of complaints about our government decisions. I have to think about why.

03:26 AM Mar 21 2014 |

2 people like this



Saudi Arabia

No, I haven’t been in a protest, or in prison ” al hamd allah” :) 

Actually, nothing I don’t want them to get in trouble.

02:06 AM Mar 21 2014 |




I want to pay the tribute to the memory  to courageous people who rebelled, who were not afraid, who died in Kiev and other countries. They wanted a better life and stood up for thier beliefs and that will come true, they didn’t die in vain.

01:14 AM Mar 21 2014 |

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