1. Financial incentives: Yes, protests are a First Amendment right and a
sign of a thriving democracy; they also keep issues alive in the public
consciousness. Butprotests cost law enforcement money and time. The state of Missouri, for example, reported
having spent $11.7 million dollars on the National Guard and Highway
Patrol by the end of 2014. Curbing protests might be an implausible
rationale for saving money.
The St. Louis protests continue, with dozens of small activist groups alerting their audiences by text or Twitter, drawing them into demonstrations that sometimes feel photographed more than they are seen. There are endless panels: on policing, on courts, on race, on everything. There are protesters still in jail, with bail funds running low. There are more bodies: Antonio Martin, killed by police in Berkeley, a town bordering Ferguson, in December, and Laderius Williams, killed by police in February on St. Louis’ south side. There are feelings of futility, and flight: Several Ferguson activists have left St. Louis to take jobs with national NGOs, while other activists talk of getting out. Ferguson is no longer a place you invest in but a launching pad for grander adventures: #FergusontoOakland, #FergusontoNY, #FergusontoPalestine, the hashtags proclaim.
This is a great piece from Politico. It covers a lot of ground ranging from financial issues plaguing protesters, to a general sense of Ferguson fatigue. It is a long read, but it’s one of the best pieces we’ve seen on Ferguson and where the movement is headed (at least in the short term).