I spent the holiday weekend in Washington. Monday morning I headed to the airport to return to Chicago for my final week at the Institute of Politics. The driver took a long and strange route, and when I landed, I found out why: a group of Ferguson protesters had shut down a major artery during rush hour, causing huge delays, especially for inbound commuters.

Ferguson protests have been active in Washington for several days — shutting down streets, surprising shoppers at various retail centers. There’s been a lot of back and forth about the propriety of taking over highways in order to protest injustice in another city. I’m not going to get into that debate, because I doubt that anyone involved is open to persuasion. But it’s worth exploring a different question: regardless of the morality, is this a good tactic?

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