Law and Critique

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 3–6 | Cite as

Ferguson and the Politics of Policing Radical Protest



While the norm amongst states seeking to repress protest movements which challenge their legitimacy is to resort to the ideology of the criminal law and allegations of violence against protesters as a means of depoliticising their activity there have been times when this method has appeared to those in power to be inadequate as a means of weakening or crushing a particular movement. The Ferguson protests in the summer of 2014 were initially met with police repression, but ultimately the National Guard was called in to respond to the protests, which were presented as being orchestrated by “outsiders”. In this way, the protests were re-politicsed for the purposes of justifying the deployment of the military against the people. This justification is antithetical to the notion and purpose of protest such as that in Ferguson, which is to be regarded as successful precisely in its having generated a broad movement that individuals and groups from across US states were moved to join.


Ferguson Protest National Guard US Policing Military 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law, BirkbeckUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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