These protests are getting ridiculous. While people have right to express their political views and to peaceably assemble, I don’t think they have the right to interfere with the daily lives of others by blocking traffic and creating disturbances. In major cities, the usual suspects have become virtual professional protestors. Permits should not be granted for marches and demonstrations that require the closure of streets and interference with commerce. Not only does this rob others of money in the form of lost business, but it costs millions of man hours in traffic delays and lost wages from being unable to get to their place of business. Plus, of course, it costs millions of dollars in additional police protection and, by diverting emergency personnel to these demonstrations makes the rest of the city a much more vulnerable target for criminals. Mass demonstrations like this should either be relegated to the weekends or to private property.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Blogeline says:

    I hate that. It doesn’t make sense why I have to change my routine because they protest something that I don;t agre with.
    I work on 18th street so I get to enjoy this!!!

  2. James Joyner says:

    Hoo-boy. Fortunately, I am indeed OTB so don’t have to contend with it on any regular basis. But that part of town–hell, all parts of that town–are so crowded and traffic logged as it is, that the protests are just too much to bear. I say they don’t get a permit and if they try to march without a permit they get ordered to disperse. If they don’t disperse, I’m afraid it’s time for some serious tear gas. I hate to sound so reactionary but we can’t have mob rule, either.