15 Inspirational Quotes About Speaking Up Against Injustice

Arlen Parsa
Apr 13, 2018 · 3 min read
New York City protest against child labor, 1909.

Happy Friday. I put together this list of 15 inspirational quotes about the importance of standing up for what you believe in:

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” — Alice Walker

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — Dr Martin Luther King Jr

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” — Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.” — Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Nelson Mandela, posing for a photo in the South African prison cell he occupied for 27 years before being ultimately released.

“As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” — Nelson Mandela

“What is the source of our first suffering? It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak. It was born in the moment when we accumulated silent things within us.” – Gaton Bachelard

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” — Elie Wiesel

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” — Paulo Freire

“You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” — Howard Zinn

“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.” — Thurgood Marshall

“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” — Dr Martin Luther King Jr

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” — Haile Selassie

“If I sit silently, I have sinned.” — Mohammad Mossadegh

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” — Robert F Kennedy

If you liked these quotes or found them helpful, please share this Medium post with others on social media or through email.


You can find me on Twitter as arlenparsa, where I make lots of noise about the things that I believe in.


Arlen Parsa

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I’m a documentary filmmaker and all around troublemaker. More at arlenparsa.com.

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