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For the Pearl Jam song, see Dissident (song).

A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively opposes an established opinion, policy, or structure. The term is most often used to refer to political dissidents, usually against authoritarian regimes or established constitutional order (although there are rare uses of the phrase philosophical dissident). Political dissidents use non-violent means of political dissent, including voicing criticism of the government or dominating ideology, or protesting individual actions by the authorities.

The term was introduced to describe intellectual opposition to non-capitalist regimes, conducted without plans or capability for a regime change, coup, or uprising. Dissidents may sometimes attempt to passively displace or overthrow the established government by achieving popular support and sparking a revolution or rebellion. In totalitarian regimes these dissidents are often punished with lengthy prison sentences, execution, or economic deprivation.

Social dissidents openly oppose dominant social attitudes. In western democratic societies political and social dissidents are widely claimed to be free from government pressure, but there have been notable instances of persecution, such as during the Palmer Raids.

Militant dissidents is the term usually saught by armed paramilitary groups whose aim is usually to overthrow a government or regime, or otherwise impose changes on the established order. Since militant dissidents are almost always militarily disadvantaged compared to the ruling power, such groups usually resort to asymmetric warfare, guerrilla warfare, or in some cases, terrorism, to further their cause. Such groups are often denounced as terrorists by the ruling power regardless, though they often consider themselves freedom fighters or resistance movements.

Drug War dissidents advocate for less punishment under the current Prohibition and may include opposers to the prohibition itself (see Legalization) which could be and have been prosecuted in many countries for the sole expression of their point of view, under the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

Among them there are scientists, academicians and politicians like Leary, Gazzaniga, Druyan, Sagan, Chomsky, Grinspoon, Jocelyn_Elders, Friedmann...

AIDS dissidents are people who question the connection between HIV and AIDS.

[edit] Noted Dissidents

Noted dissidents include Akbar Gangi, Andrei Sakharov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Zinovyev, Robert Havemann, Natan Sharansky, Timothy Leary, Sergei Kovalev, Vladimir Bukovsky, Mikhail Trepashkin, Harry Wu, Lech Wałęsa, Václav Havel, Aung San Suu Kyi, The Cuban Five, Armando Valladares, Francis Seow, Wei Jingsheng, Ernst Zündel, Nelson Mandela, Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag, Lester Grinspoon, Ann Druyan, Milton Friedman, Fernando Savater, Robert "Bobby" Fischer, Hugo Chávez, Antonio Escohotado, John Lennon, Jesus of Nazareth

[edit] See also

de:Dissident et:Dissident es:Disidencia fr:Dissidence it:Dissidente he:דיסידנט ka:დისიდენტი lb:Dissident lt:Disidentas mk:Дисидент nl:Dissident pl:Dysydent (polityka) pt:Dissidência ru:Диссидент sk:Disident fi:Toisinajattelija sv:Dissident vi:Người chống đối zh:持不同政见者


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