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A form of nonviolent protest, employed during the 1960s in the civil rights movement and later in the movement against the Vietnam War. In a sit-in, demonstrators occupy a place open to the public, such as a racially segregated (see segregation) lunch counter or bus station, and then refuse to leave. Sit-ins were designed to provoke arrest and thereby gain attention for the demonstrators' cause.
Note: The civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., defended such tactics as sit-ins in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
An illegal occupation of a place in order to make a political or philosophical statement
[1960s+; the term was popularized during the movement for black civil rights and has many offspring: be-in, love-in, puke-in, etc]
a tactic of nonviolent civil disobedience. The demonstrators enter a business or a public place and remain seated until forcibly evicted or until their grievances are answered. Attempts to terminate the essentially passive sit-in often appear brutal, thus arousing sympathy for the demonstrators among moderates and noninvolved individuals. Following Mahatma Gandhi's teaching, Indians employed the sit-in to great advantage during their struggle for independence from the British. Later, the sit-in was adopted as a major tactic in the civil-rights struggle of American blacks; the first prominent sit-in occurred at a Greensboro (North Carolina) lunch counter in 1960. Student activists adopted the tactic later in the decade in demonstrations against the Vietnam War.