Anna Hazare, an Indian social activist, has begun a mass hunger strike in India to protest against corruption in the government. This comes days after a similar event was broken up by police with anti-riot gear and weapons. Hazare's actions stem as a throwback to the anti-British movement started by Mahatma Gandhi. It seems ludicrous that a state, in which their entire reason for existence is non-violent disobedience and protest, would crush such events.
It is one thing for police to break up groups of protesters; these may include vandals, looters and violent groups. It takes another type of human being to attack peaceful demonstrators. This can be seen in the ongoing Arab Spring (where the majority are peaceful), the G20 protests (where the majority were peaceful) and now in India where nothing can be more non-violent than a hunger strike. Peaceful protest and civil disobedience must be held as infallible rights in a democratic state (as well as something to be upheld by democratic states in non-democratic states), and an obligation of any citizen when authority becomes corrupt.
"In a democracy, everyone has a right to stand up for a cause and no government can stop us from doing so." Anna Hazare