What Is Active Resistance?

Active resistance can be two things depending upon the application of the term. In criminal justice, active resistance means a law enforcement officer coming into contact with someone who physically counters what the officer is attempting to do. In governmental philosophy, active resistance is defined as anarchism against a state or government for the purposes of disrupting the established order.

According to About.com, a person engages in active resistance by trying to use muscular force to get away from an arresting officer. For instance, someone may try to twist his or her body out of an officer’s grip to prevent handcuffing. Someone may also flee on foot to avoid a physical confrontation with an arresting officer lawfully performing his or her duties. This type of active resistance may harm the officer in question.

Active resistance can also be attributed to anarchists. According to Post Identity, a larger counter-convention in Chicago in 1996 lasted 10 days during the Democratic National Convention. This group of anarchists, known as Active Resistance, took part in workshops and forum discussions revolving around immigration, prison abolition and impacts of liberalism on society. Active resistance is the method by which anarchists try to gain attention and spread their ideas. By engaging in this behavior, anarchism goes beyond a political ideal and into the realm of a real movement with tangible goals.