In every country laws are made to protect the people and to contribute to the overall well being of the nation. Laws are made to prevent people from committing a crime. People should respect the law of their country and try to abide by the laws of a nation. But there are certain people who break the laws by committing various crimes and offences. A law is created so that every person will be aware of it and will be conscious before committing an offence. The law gives a feeling of security to each and every person of a nation.
But some laws might be wrong or not properly constituted, in such cases; the law needs to be changed. And if any law is doing more harm then good to the people, it is not wrong in breaking the law in order to change it. Any law which is harmful to the people or threatens the well being of the nation should be changed. If breaking the law can change the way the law has been constituted for good, then there is nothing wrong in breaking the law.
For example in the movie “Camden 28” by Anthony Giacchino, 28 people who were against the war, stormed the offices of the FBI and army intelligence, in the Federal Building at Camden, and destroyed various files and draft boards, and were arrested by the police. But after the trial, all these people were acquitted, and this was one of their first victories in the fight against the anti-war movement. All these people were determined to show the authorities that the war against Vietnam was immoral, and that sending youngsters to the war in Vietnam was only killing innocent people.
Among the 28 people there were four priests and even a Lutheran minister, and 26 of them were Catholics. All these people had committed nearly 30 raids and destroyed many documents and draft boards and finally succeeded in getting acquitted and asking the laws to be nullified and sending a warning to the government that such wars are totally corrupt and unlawful. Breaking the law to fight against war was extremely justified and was needed to bring about a change in the law. After seeing their first victory in such anti-war movements, people were really happy.
After reading this everyone must be thinking how the US government justifies itself for the wars against Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. All the laws which legalize wars have to be changed for the well being of the country. Therefore it is not a crime to break any law which perpetuates injustice in order to change that law. Breaking the law might be a crime and against the laws, but anything is fair for a good purpose.
Before legalizing any law the government should see to it that the law is correct and justified in its nature, and the law should give a sense of security to the nation, but not harm the people of that nation. Breaking the law has become a common thing in every country, and most of these crimes are real offences, but there are some rare cases like the movie Camden 28, where breaking the law becomes a necessity in order to make the government realise their folly in making such laws, which are not only cruel, but also take the lives of innocent people. Hence breaking the law in order to change the law itself is totally justified, when it is done for a good cause.
John Dear S.J., The Camden 28, NCRcafe.org, 12 November 2007, <http://ncrcafe.org/node/1338>.