Civil disobedience is an action that is intended to appeal to the public, to show that they have violated principles that they otherwise generally accept. This is why acts of civil disobedience must be public acts. Acts of civil disobedience cannot involve violence to persons, for that might provoke fear, which undermines the public’s ability to listen to the appeal. The civil disobedient accepts his punishment in order to demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law, and also to demonstrate the seriousness of his commitment to the principles that have been violated by the public.
"Civil Disobedience in a Constitutional Democracy,"
Philosophic Exchange: Vol. 1
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/phil_ex/vol1/iss1/4