Actievoeren tegen Big Oil. Eén hoeraatje voor burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid, twee voor reputatiebeschadiging | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 44, Issue 3/4
  • ISSN: 0167-2444
  • E-ISSN: 2949-8651

Abstract

Abstract

This contribution discusses the possibilities and limitations of two types of protest: civil disobedience and public shaming. Civil disobedience is characterized by peaceful resistance, whereby activists refuse to obey the law. Public shaming, on the other hand, is a symbolic means of criticism that communicates rejection and condemnation, with a stigmatizing or educational purpose. The two types of actions can be understood as ‘weapons of the weak’ with which social pressure can be exerted on mega-corporate organizations – in particular those of Big Oil – that persistently cause damage and avoid responsibility for it. Both forms of action raise specific moral questions and justifications for them are subject to a number of (strict) conditions. It is argued that Extinction Rebellion’s apolitical strategy is flawed in some respects and that a focus on campaigning against powerful companies – including shaming – may be more rewarding.

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