Political dissent

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Political dissent refers to any expression designed to convey dissatisfaction with or opposition to the policies of a governing body. Such expression may take forms from vocal disagreement to civil disobedience to the use of violence. In most democratic countries, non-violent demonstration and disagreement with the government are regarded as fundamental human rights.[1]

Historically, repressive governments have sought to punish political dissent. The protection of freedoms that facilitate peaceful dissent has become a hallmark of free and open societies. Repression of political dissent is considered as an attempt to stifle public discourse about government lies, corruption, or ineptitude.[1]

A report on the World Socialist Web Site from 2013 lists several cases of oppression of political dissent in the United States. For example, a high school student was arrested and charged under "terrorism" laws for posting lyrics on facebook that make references to the Boston Marathon bombing.[2]


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