MIT offering 250K award for civil disobedience

It turns out it can pay — and pay big — to protest.

The Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge is offering $250,000 to a group or individual engaged in civil disobedience that, according to Boston Magazine, pushes some sort of societal boundary in a peaceful way toward a progressive end.

“Questioning authority and thinking for yourself is an essential component of science, of civil rights, of society,” Joi Ito, director of MIT’s Media Lab, said in an announcement video about the award. “At some level, disobedience is at the root of creativity.”

According to the MIT website, the cash prize comes with “no strings attached.”

“This idea came after a realization that there’s a widespread frustration from people trying to figure out how can we effectively harness responsible, ethical disobedience aimed at challenging our norms, rules or laws to benefit society,” the department website reads.

Several political protests — many aimed at opposing President Donald Trump — have broken out in recent weeks. From the Women’s March last month and the “Day Without a Woman” protest this week to the environmental activists gathered at Standing Rock protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline and the countless anti-Trump demonstrations across the U.S., there is no shortage of protests to take part in.

However, according to CNN, the Media Lab said the award is not a response to the Trump administration.

“You don’t get a Nobel Prize for doing what you’re told, you get it for questioning authority,” Ito said, mentioning Martin Luther King Jr., the Environmental Protection Agency officials who have opposed Trump, and those fighting for LGBT causes.

Those applying for the award must espouse principles of “non-violence, creativity, courage and taking responsibility for one’s actions.” In addition, eligible applicants “must have taken a personal risk in order to affect positive change for greater society.”


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  • Name

    Stop all federal funding of this school and charge all administrators with sedition.

    • patriot2

      and all the rest of the colleges doing the same thing.

      • mustangsallyann

        Most woman didn’t even hear of the day without women thing. My daughter’s and I were hysterical when we learned of it the next day. It was the march that nobody came to and should’ve embarrassed any woman that loves G-d, has common sense and a brain. It was a humiliation and made their ‘whatever they were doing’ cause even worse. They had no goal although some leader said “Women birth 50% of children and the marchers were the other 50%”. What the heck is that??? Pretty stupid, huh?? LOL Be honest, which 50% of you men are taking our God given job??? LOL Anything to jump on the bandwagon, whether it makes sense at all. I assure you, the women that weren’t there are the one’s who’d truly be missed when losing their contribution’s in their families and in the world.

    • George M Melby

      Sieg Heil, fRUMP!

  • flutepilot

    Stick to science and engineering. This is BS and, as another person said, cut off all government funding so that there is no more of this kind of money to spend on c)(*&).

  • Hans

    So is this what MIT is about, I always thought it was a place of Great learning and pushing the boundaries of science. I Guess I Was Wrong or we have a rouge administration, and to think they came to learn !!

    • MyRoseHasTHORNS

      MIT was Grubered and continues to slide off the cliff.

      PAYING protesters ONLY to espouse progressive causes should be illegal. Same goes for paying for far right causes.

      IF a University wants to teach ‘peaceful assembly’ and ‘how to address grievances against the Government’ in a way where you can make them not only hear but LISTEN and also teach how to DEBATE while remaining civil, there is a real need for these things.

      Paying for disorder and disobedience is NOT the correct or peaceful way, it is immoral, unethical and should be illegal

      • bbarnicle

        ‘Debate’? These uncivilized troglodites only know how to bully others to get their way. I swear, we’re living in the dark ages now because of these devolved humanoids.

        • MyRoseHasTHORNS

          I remember Debate class and how our teacher made us research and present an argument for the opposite side of our opinions.

          That was slightly before the newer History hires, in Jr High where we had a triple jointed Nixon hater sitting in yoga position on her desk, and in HS where our World History teacher told us how much he hated us and how he only became a teacher to avoid the draft.

          Prior to them there wasn’t any rabid politics in the neighborhood or schools. Discipline was still allowed too and parents sided with and respected the teachers…

      • Hans

        Right On, My Rose !!

    • doloreseilerts


  • doloreseilerts

    Stop all grants scholatships research student loans. Utility grants building or maintenence grants bonuses. Medical. Many have no idea how many hundreds of millions from tax psyers to these institutions of communism.

  • Wade

    There has to be authority and boundaries, if not,, then anything goes, anytime! There is nothing wrong with questioning why things couldn’t be different, but civil disobedience leads to lawlessness, always!

  • Rob Anthonisen

    Maybe I can get this money if I protest The idiot, Obama for what he did and what he is doing and what he plans. It looks, however, that he might be jailed. I hope so. I wish his brother came forward 8 years ago with his real birth certificate.

    • mustangsallyann

      His brother did and they went after his credibility at every turn. I don’t think many that elected O cared anyway.

  • William McNamara

    This is what we get for allowing communism to fester in our schools. Seems that all universities in the United States have been taken over by marxist faculty who’s only goal apparently is to indoctrinate our youth and turn them into little Trotsky’s and Alinsky’s. We need to purge our schools of all levels of the cancer of communism and restore their intended purpose of education, not indoctrination.

  • janniefay

    This is treason.

  • Ron Wanamaker

    more spoiled students, that are wasting their parents money. most college students are brain washed. if you want to ruin your kids send them to college.

    • mustangsallyann

      I went to college and they sure didn’t teach this carp. I must be really old….. :o( LOL

      • Dixie Vangelisti

        Me too…really old!!! LOL!!!



  • 5live5

    And how many of these IDIOTS vying for this award are going to incite riots? MIT and the professor who came up with this idea should face STIFF penalties for attempting to incite riots!!!

    • biilyjoe

      THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO BUILD UP OUR NATIONAL GUARD–and USE it against the Berkley/NYU, etc anarchist criminals. PROSECUTE AND JAIL OR BETTER STILL –DEPORT THEM–to Cuba.

  • allanholtz

    Compared to the last 24 years of Clinton-Bush-Obama, I would say that the Trump administration is a great example of challenging the status quo. I think Donald Trump should win this MIT award.

    • Dana Cole

      Thank you for sharing your irrelevant uneducated opinion.

    • safari1024

      Sorry, Trump doesn’t fit the “progressive” label. I do agree that Donald would probably find a much better use for the money. MIT is a highly respected school, and I would hope that the higher ups would squash this foolish waste of money. There has to be some kind of tech competition they could host instead.

  • Dana Cole

    Constitutionally everyone has equal rights. Why do we legislate because some group of individuals believe that equality is simply a construct and they want to change it on a whim. When Congress passed DOMA that legislation was challenged and found unconstitutional and rightly so. But do we actually need to legislate culture giving special rights to LGBT community when we have anti-discrimination legislation that covers the workplace, family and so on. We don’t need specific attention legislated on how individuals live their lives.

    Now, Civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with laws or pay taxes/fines as peaceful political protest. That is criminal and is done with the expectation of being punished. MIT by sponsoring it is complicit and subject to felonies charges as well as anyone partaking in civil disobedience. I believe MIT should be charged now.

  • regulus30

    break their spirit and then some bones. FASCISM IS NOT “civil disobedience”. We the people are probably going to have to mobilize to show these left wing idiots we have right to our conservative agenda in this countries government. Rebelling is juvenile and immature and destruction of property is not tolerated by adults; this is going to a SHOW DOWN.

  • libsarescum

    Legal Definition of sedition. : the crime of creating a revolt, disturbance, or violence against lawful civil authority with the intent to cause its overthrow or destruction — compare criminal syndicalism, sabotage.

    • biilyjoe

      Obama, Clinton, Lynch-mob, Holder—-Sharptongue, Madonna all belong in jail for sedition/treason.

  • N.McDaniel


  • codycollie

    The Demonrats, the Piece of Shit Obama and the Scumbag Soros are behind all of this!

    They need to be STOPPED by any means necessary☠️

    Gorrila War Fare allowed U.S. to get rid of the Brits it looks like time has come ⚔️

  • pappy450

    Just another “indoctrination center” bribing young adults to “go along” with their sick agenda.
    Federal funds need to be stopped immediately, and the person or group responsible need to be arrested and prosecuted for inciting riots.

  • biilyjoe

    Pay me. I’ll disobey those phony insurrectionist rats at MIT—who’s the Rocket Scientist “media lab director” behind this ” gar baage’ “??– Does it rhyme with Al Sharpton ? or is there a George Soros- stench attached ? Cut all Fed and other taxpayers’ funding that goes to that leftloonietoon faux-department there !! What a waste !!

  • Ginger

    Why would MIT take 250k and offer it to protesters, instead of using the money for providing better education to low-income students, or investing in some research project to improve the lives of a group. This idea seems like it is just encouraging more useless protests.

  • Donna Morken

    If this is what our colleges are teaching I’m all for cutting off funding for everything in that college. they need to figure out their own funding instead of taking tax payer monies. because there are a lot of us that pay taxes that don’t agree with them so shut them off and let them get their own support. NO TAX MONEY!

  • sharon419

    Thiis is so wrong. All money should stop to all colleges until they hire conservatives and stop the indoctrination of the young.

  • Gary

    This is inciting riots and funding domestic terrorism! Whomever is responsible for this, should be arrested and prosecuted to maximum!

    • Dixie Vangelisti

      Follow the money……………….

  • patgo

    Why “progressive”? As if that meant “progress” (NOT!) I have a cause I would gladly present for an award, and it’s not progressive. It’s against the entire Establishment, which has cemented in these violations of human rights to the point where you can’t fight them anymore. In fact, I have two such causes.

  • Original Anna

    What the, every organization they mention has been responsible for ruining lives, the EPA stopping farmers from farming so they file for bankruptsy so the EPA can grap the land for something the gov’t wants or should I say China wants. LGBT is all about homosexuals making our country’s youth homosexuals and they deliberatedly go after Christian families to close down their business and get the gov’t to fine the owners to give money to the homosexuals who demanded a Christian cake at a homosexual wedding. A wedding cake is a cultural Christian religion thing. It is not a birthday cake or a shower cake or any other kind of cake, it is a wedding cake for a Christian wedding. Just because other religions have borrowed the wedding cake doesn’t make the cake a non Christian wedding cake. The women only riot for the right to torture to death their babies, all they want is the right to murder babies. The protesting Indians out west, the pipeline wasn’t even on their property and would be buried anyway if it was. That money MIT is offering for students to do what these organizations want, which is a over thrown gov’t just like the communists did in Russia and other countries. I would bet it is Soros money and if it is MIT money than parents of students at MIT who are actually supplying the money need to get a say in where the money is going and/or pull their kids out of that school and let the democrats/progressives pay for over throwing the elected gov’t instead of parents paying for over throwing the gov’t the parents probably voted for. MIT thinks that Americans don’t get what this money called awards is all about, really, we aren’t that slow, most of us went to college before the 60s and didn’t fall for the communist teaching than or in the 70s and 80s either.

    • mustangsallyann

      I was in college in the 80s and they weren’t teaching this carp at the 2 colleges I went to back then.

      • Original Anna

        Yes, I know. I can’t believe the communist party has done such a good job of teaching our kids to hate the country they have been given a chance at the best life possible in the world. Kids today don’t even know this country won WWII and sent our money over to Europe to help build the countries back up. We sent a lot of Americans over there too because after the war Europe didn’t have the educated numbers that we could give them. Their educated had been killed in the war. Believe me, Russia, the communists did nothing to rebuild Europe they just grabbed the countries they could and the countries that couldn’t resist them like Hungary and others and enslaved the people there. Communism failed in every country they ruled and went to work infiltrating our colleges and did a good job of it. Can anybody explain to me and others old like me why these younger kids don’t get that capitalism built this country, not communism, communism built Russia and the new Soviet man and failed. The kids who are full grown now are tearing down capitalism to build a communist country and if our politicians aren’t working at that, they are working on building themselves nice homes, and boats and a nice living at the expense of the American worker. Their legislative paychecks sure don’t pay for all they have accumulated while in office. Trump is taking a dollar as president and all these progressive/democrat/communists do is bitch about Trump and his followers when we taxpayers are the ones who have the right to bitch about these progressive/democrat/communists politicians.

        • mustangsallyann

          We raised 3 boy’s, now 31, 35 and 36. I’m so glad we were involved parent’s with strong personalities, that taught them the truths of our history. Having our own business also helped. They and many of their friend’s worked for us starting in H.S., some even earning class credit’s for working for us. Yes, the first go round they voted O and we let them learn from that mistake themselves. What we missed in teaching them, O did the rest and it didn’t bode well for Dem’s in the end. By his second run, they ran hard and fast from him. O’s now ensured they’ll be conservatives for the rest of their lives. Parents can’t stay quiet, they need to fill in those blanks that now fill the history book’s the schools are using. It’s easy to find the facts for them and the more we do this, the less credibility they have. Teachers are not the only educator’s out there, thank the Lord. ;o)

  • Rocketman

    No more funding from tax payers to this school and any other behaving like this

  • Kenneth Fichtl

    That is easy send the federal Government Packing Block DC from Access Surround the hill Nothing in everything out

  • Ken Cooley

    We brought this nonsense on ourselves. Since the 1960’s. The Jeanie was let out of the bottle a long, long time ago.

    • mustangsallyann

      Most things back then stayed peaceful. I started a petition and sit out in H.S. when teachers were forced to retire at 63. They weren’t good enough to earn wages but most stayed on as volunteers instead, that was just fine. Everything we did was peaceful and at the retirement lunch for the teach we were losing, our state senator showed up with roses for her, as well as the message as to how loved she was by her student’s. He promised he was fighting for that to change and 2 years later, it did. But these stupid kid’s think that was old fashioned and won’t work these days. If it’s not violent, they think they won’t get an audience. I can say from personal experience that they do work. You need the right leader to guide them, that’s if you can get them to listen at all.

  • Laurie Ann Forrest

    The time has come for colleges and universities to cease to exist! Close them down and drain the cesspool of liberal anarchy! There is no functional need nor is there justification for maintaining these massive bastions of “regressive” indoctrination! Virtual education is primed and ready to replace these institutions at a greatly lower expense! DRAIN THE LIBERAL SWAMPS OF HIGHER EDUCATION!

    • mustangsallyann

      Regis University is the only college I’d go to now. We don’t need to lose them, they aren’t involved in anything like this and if a student is caught doing so, they are immediately expelled.

  • Dixie Vangelisti

    GOD gave us humans “free will”. We can think anything we want, live anyway we want and even TRY
    to erase GOD from our lives and the universe. BUT that will NEVER make HIM go away or disappear.
    Believe “IT” or not…”IT” makes NO difference. All this “mess” we have created for ourselves does
    NOT change one nano particle of GOD and HIS PLAN.
    This is GOD’S universe, HIS solar system and HIS earth. We also belong to GOD. It is totally up to
    us as to whether we take up that challenge to accept being one of HIS.and follow HIM.
    GOD WILL CLEAN THIS MESS UP whether we like “IT” or not….SOON I hope!!!