GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 19, 2013

Letter: Time for some fishing 'civil disobedience'

To the editor:

“I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here is a quote from Thoreau’s essay called “Civil Disobedience” which was originally titled “Resistance to Civil Government”:

“How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave’s government also. All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.” — Henry David Thoreau (1848).

The Gloucester fishermen are being tyrannized by John Bullard and the NOAA, robbed of their noble vocation by a bunch of bureaucratic bandicoots and losing their boats, homes and dignity as hard-working Americans.

I believe litigation and letters to the editor will prove impotent. As Paul Cohan wrote (letters, the Times, Tuesday, Sept. 17), you are playing on the NOAA’s field, by their rules, with government-paid refs, with the clock counting down to your ultimate, certain defeat.

Change the game! Read Thoreau’s essay and go, en masse, with one of the mayoral candidates at your head, to the NOAA offices at Blackburn Park and picket — unrelentingly.

If Rosa Parks hadn’t refused to give up her seat to a white bus passenger there’d never have been an “I Have a Dream” speech. Parks was arrested for “civil disobedience” for violating Alabama segregation laws.

The country we live in was spawned by acts of civil disobedience. The colonists rejected the authority of the British Parliament to govern them.

Any tolerance whatsoever of the NOAA’s tyranny is an act of cowardice and represents truly un-American conduct.

STUART DIAMOND

Rockport

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