Should You Have to Pay to Protest?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker unveiled a new policy this week which could hold demonstrators at the Capitol liable for the cost of extra police or cleanup and repairs after protests. Walker is set to charge protesters $50 an hour for each police officer assigned to any demonstrations. The move has raised questions about civic responsibility and free speech for protesters.

The policy also requires permits for events at the statehouse and other state buildings and will be phased in by Dec. 16. 

Walker says the regulations are necessary to offset the cost of protests; costs from protests earlier this year ranged widely from $350,000 to $7.5 million in taxpayer money. The Occupy movement across the country has been costly as well, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s decision could set an example for other cities looking to cope with the expense of protests.

What do you think? Is Walker's move a fair way to handle the costs of protests? Or, should anyone be able to assemble without having to pay for the right?                                                                               

Photo Credit: pchgorner

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Andrew Schmidt

Andrew is a Senior at the University of Chicago studying Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Civ.

MORE FROM

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill

When it comes to upholding the Paris climate agreement, America's mayors are leading the way

In spite of an uncooperative U.S. government, mayors around the world are working together to set the agenda on climate change.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill

When it comes to upholding the Paris climate agreement, America's mayors are leading the way

In spite of an uncooperative U.S. government, mayors around the world are working together to set the agenda on climate change.