The Activist, the Bystander, and the Perpetrator
In a Dictatorship, (A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator and not restricted by a constitution, laws or opposition) people tend to be in one of the three camps:
The Activist (Or resistor):
ONE WHO ACTIVELY ENGAGES IN OPEN OR SECRET RESISTANCE AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT AND BELIEVES STRONGLY IN DEMOCRACY. THEY AGITATE AND TRY TO REMIND THEIR COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN THAT NO ONE IS SAFE IN A DICTATORSHIP. SOME EXAMPLES: (CLICK PICTURES FOR MORE INFORMATION)
Sophia M. Scholl
22 year old German Sophia Scholl was a member of the non-violent group called the White Rose. Opposing Nazi rule, the group members were arrested when a custodian saw them leave their leaflets on the desks of their university. The Nazi Party had the group beheaded, yet their spirit went on to inspire others.
An unknown man steps in front of a column of tanks in protest of the bloody repression of students by China's Communist government.
Nina Wilson, Sheelah Mclean, Sylvia McAdam and Jessica Gordon
Founders of the "Idle No More" campaign in November 2012, these women began with an idea to raise awareness around the Canadian Government's Bill C-45, and ended up starting an international movement.
THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO DON’T NECESSARILY SUPPORT THE DICTATOR BUT WHOM SAY NOTHING AGAINST IT. THEY TRY TO GO ON WITH THEIR DAILY LIVES AND TO "WEATHER THE STORM." TODAY, IT IS EASY TO JUDGE FROM THE SAFETY OF OUR HOMES AND COUCHES. WE WATCH DOCUMENTARIES ON THE HISTORY CHANNEL AND DECLARE THAT IF WE WERE IN NAZI GERMANY WE WOULD FIGHT THE SYSTEM. WOULD WE? WOULD YOU? OR WOULD WE KEEP OUR HEAD DOWN AND HOPE THINGS WOULD IMPROVE? ARE THERE SITUATIONS WHEN PEACEFUL PROTEST WILL NOT WORK?
"In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn't’ speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't’ speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one else was left to speak up."
- Martin Niemoller
Question: Does peaceful protest always work?
The Active Participant or perpEtraitor:
THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO SEE OPPORTUNITY AND USE THE FEAR, HATE AND VIOLENCE OF A DICTATORSHIP TO FURTHER THEMSELVES AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS. UNFORTUNATELY THE LIST IS LONG AND INFAMOUS. HERE ARE JUST 3 EXAMPLES:
Assignment: Boy in the Striped Pajamas
As a class, we will watch the 2008 movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This movie is an excellent review of types of citizenship, as well as the ideologies that . After you have watched the movie, please answer the questions on the sheet (at left).
Overall Curriculum Expectations Addressed:
A1. Political Inquiry: use the political inquiry process and the concepts of political thinking when
investigating issues, events, and developments of civic importance;
A2. Developing Transferable Skills: apply in everyday contexts skills developed through investigations
related to civics and citizenship education, and identify some careers in which civics and citizenship
education might be an asset.
B3.Rights and Responsibilities: analyse key rights and responsibilities associated with citizenship, in both
the Canadian and global context, and some ways in which these rights are protected
C1.Civic Contributions: analyse a variety of civic contributions, and ways in which people can contribute
to the common good.
C2. Inclusion and Participation: assess ways in which people express their perspectives on issues of civic
importance and how various perspectives, beliefs, and values are recognized and represented in communities
How did Hitler get Power in Germany?
It is important to remember that, initially, Hitler's NSDAP Party (the Nazi Party) was elected into office. How does this happen? Download the handout below for a simplified answer to this question.
Assignment #2: The Rant, The Song, or The Editorial
Do YOU have a comment to make? Are you full of political angst? Are you artistic? Well, choose your assignment and show us how to be an active citizen?