Find your place on the planet, dig in, and take responsibility from there.

Gary Snyder

Activism is my rent for living on this planet.

Alice Walker

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Dr. Seuss

So exiled have even basic questions of freedom become from the political vocabulary that they sound musty and ridiculous, and vulnerable to the ultimate badge of shame — “That’s so sixties!” — the entire decade having been mocked so effectively that social protest seems outlandish and “so last-century,” just another style excess like love beads and Nehru jackets.

Laura Kipnis

I honestly do not know if civil disobedience has any effect on the government. I can promise you it has a great effect on the person who chooses to do it.

Martin Sheen

I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.

Mitch Hedberg

The question is not “Can you make a difference?” You already do make a difference. It’s just a matter of what kind of difference you want to make during your life on this planet.

Julia Butterfly Hill

Idealists . . . foolish enough to throw caution to the winds . . . have advanced mankind and enriched the world.

Emma Goldman

It takes six simpletons and one zealot to start a movement.

Anzia Yezierska

Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.

Malcolm X

WHAT DO WE WANT?! Respectful discourse. WHEN DO WE WANT IT?! Now would be agreeable to me, but I am interested in your opinion.

Message on a protest sign

A disturber of the peace, am I? Yes, indeed, of my own peace. Do you call this disturbing the peace that instead of spending my time in frivolous amusements I have visited the plague-infested and carried out the dead?

Katherine Zell

Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.

Nellie McClung

Dare to do things worthy of imprisonment if you mean to be of consequence.


There is all the difference in the world between the criminal’s avoiding the public eye and the civil disobedient’s taking the law into his own hands in open defiance. This distinction between an open violation of the law, performed in public, and a clandestine one is so glaringly obvious that it can be neglected only by prejudice or ill will.

Hannah Arendt

We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.

Martin Luther King Jr.

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

Elie Wiesel

So often we think we have got to make a difference and be a big dog. Let us just try to be little fleas biting. Enough fleas biting strategically can make a big dog very uncomfortable.

Marian Wright Edelman

Around the time my mother taught me how to tie my shoes, she also taught me how to protest. Her rules were simple: Look respectable, act respectable, and don’t give the opposition any ammunition. Together we buttoned those top buttons and combed our hair for peace, civil rights, the ERA. You name it, we marched for it. In sensible shoes.

Julia King

The struggle is eternal. The tribe increases. Somebody else carries on.

Ella Baker