After discussions with shepherds in the Middle Atlas and farmers being evicted from their lands around Rabat I have had some new thoughts on civil disobedience. In his book "The Wretched of the Earth," Fanon spoke about the disconnect between organized militancy amongst the educated urban elite and the "disorganized" militancy amongst rural people. I find his analysis to be correct and we can see what he means when we examine the perspective urban militants have on what constitutes civil disobedience:
Why do we (urban educated self-proclaimed "activists") hold our actions of civil disobedience in such high regard while disregarding the daily actions of civil disobedience conducted by the most marginalized people?
Is it because the educated militant has read Thoreau and the peasant or worker hasn't? Does the illiterate shepherd in the Middle Atlas, who knowingly cuts wood against the law in subsistence amounts to build his hut and to burn it to keep himself warm, not live in constant civil disobedience? Does the impoverished farmer living on the fringes of the city, constructing his "shack" (which when accumulated with others like him or herself becomes a shantytown) "illegally" not live in constant civil disobedience?
Is it an issue of awareness? I don't think so. Every one knows that people build homes in shantytowns illegally, but how many people view these as civil disobedience?