Misguided civil disobedience

March 23, 2013

The practice of civil disobedience has a long and storied history, with practitioners who have included Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Lech Walesa.

Let’s not be too quick to add Monongahela’s Bridgett Dixon to the list, though. On March 15, the 42-year-old allegedly parked her 2001 Plymouth Neon on railroad tracks at the city’s Second Street crossing to protest the fact that so many trains pass through town and the whistles have disturbed her while she is talking on the phone.

In the whole grand scheme of things, expressing outrage at train whistles seems rather small potatoes. “I guess she was sick and tired of hearing the horn blowing,” said Monongahela police Chief Brian Tempest, adding that “she doesn’t even live that close to the tracks. And the whistle doesn’t blow unless the train is coming up on an intersection.”

Dixon, of course, should be accorded the presumption of innocence as she faces charges of disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and risking a catastrophe. However, the next time Dixon feels an impulse toward civil disobedience, we hope it will be for a more worthy cause.



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