In 2012, Matt Damon helped pay tribute to the late historian and author Howard Zinn. This rendition of a speech Zinn gave in 1970 on civil disobedience is one of his most powerful performances to date. It is still true... The Problem is Still Civil Obedience.
“Back in the 60s and 70s Dr. Zinn was one of the few who understood... and he did his best to tell us... that what was happening to our black brothers and sisters would soon be happening to us, all of us, save the mega-super rich. Today we understand his message was a premonition about our times, too.”
Genora (Johnson) Dollinger, Women's Emergency Brigade
Fighting for the rights of common people is unfortunately not just a recent activity. For instance, Genora (Johnson) Dollinger, of Flint Michigan, co-founder of the Women's Emergency Brigade, became nationally known following the famous 44 day long Sit-Down Strike at the Flint General Motors plant, 1936-1937.
The video below includes a re-enactment of her:
“Finally, I got up in the sound truck and I called the police, "Cowards, cowards, shooting into the bellies of unarmed men and firing into the mothers of children". And everything became quiet on both sides of the line. And I appealed to the women, the spectators on both sides, "Breakthrough those police lines and come down here and stand beside your husbands and your brothers and your uncles and your sweethearts".
"In the dusk, I could barely see one woman walking down the battle zone. A cop grabbed her by the coat and she went right out of that coat and this was in freezing weather and she just kept right on coming. And as soon as that happened there were other women who followed down, then more men. And there was a big roar of victory." --Genora Johnson
Howard Zinn Speaks: Collected Speeches, 1963-2009, Howard Zinn
Civil Disobedience at the Boston Federal Building with Howard Zinn, 1971, Daniel Ellsberg's Website
Howard Zinn on the Power of People, billmoyers.com, 11 Dec 2009