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“You may well ask, “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, etc.? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are exactly right in your call for negotiation. Indeed, this is the purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored…. I have earnestly worked and preached against violent tension, but there is a type of constructive non-violent tension that is necessary for growth.”
(Martin Luther King jr., ‘Letter from the Birmingham Jail’, 1963)