Michael Brown protest at Pentagon City in Northern Virginia.
The power of cameras! The presence of so many cameras definitely affected the way both protestors and police acted at a recent Ferguson demonstration in the Washington, DC area. Demonstrators took over a full block of Hayes St. at Pentagon City- a busy pedestrian and traffic street during the height of holiday shopping on the Saturday after Thanksgiving refusing to leave for about an hour.
At this particular event I would not want to be a protestor or police officer.
The era of demonstrations seems to have changed significantly with the presence of cameras. All acitivities can immediately be captured and can be used by either side for their own sake. Demonstrators can hold cameras as they confront police and feel more comfortable that police will be less likely to react to their aggressiveness.
At this demonstration I saw peaceful demonstrators and I saw police officers professionally doing their job under a stressful situation. I also saw some demonstrators ready to escalate the protest and take advantage of the situation with their cameras ready in hand. When chanting demonstrators got close to the police so did the cameras.
I remember the Trayvon Martin demonstrations 2 years earlier in Washington. I remember more people and less cameras.