What are the different types of passive resistance?

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Passive resistance can take many forms. The goal of passive resistance is to deliberately create obstacles to the implementation of unpopular policies and laws.

One form of passive resistance is using nonviolent protests. Nonviolent protests may include many actions. One act is a boycott, as in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Another action would be to have marches, as in the march from Selma to Montgomery. A third action would be to deliberately break laws in a peaceful manner. This could include sitting down in the middle of a street to protest some action. It could also include refusing to pay taxes or refusing to serve in the military if drafted.

Another form of passive resistance is to deliberately work slower than normal. Workers who can’t reach a contract settlement may not produce as much as they normal would produce to show their unhappiness with the lack of progress toward a new contract agreement. Students may move slowly to class or work at slower than normal rates to protest an unpopular school policy.

Deliberatively giving incorrect information or sabotaging plans are other forms of passive resistance. The people of Belgium did this in World War I as Germany moved through Belgium. This passive resistance delayed Germany’s movement through Belgium from six days to eighteen days. This delay allowed France to reposition its army to defend the country.

There are many forms of passive resistance that can be used to show displeasure with various policies, laws, plans, or ideas.

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