There are some folks who think the era of effective street protest was over by the early 70s with the end of the antiwar movement against Vietnam (occasioned by the end of the war). Some may put it over with the Central America solidarity movement and antinuclear movement of the 80s.
But the importance of such street protests is not merely in whether or not they succeed in changing a policy course, but just in being seen, to show those who are connecting the dots (or who, more likely, see that there are some dots that need connecting) that they are not alone. That people are out there who, like them, care and want to do something about it. That's the secret of how movements are built: Showing up = giving a shit, and a lot of people want to give a shit but are simply too cowed by the isolation forced on us by the FYIGM mentality fostered by our current socioeconomic morass.
That's what BBB doesn't get: Building a movement is more important than cheering on a team.*
*Yeah, I'm likely to run the sports analogy right into the ground, but it sure does fit, don't it?
I regret that I can only give you one thumbs up for your comment above.
A big part of the problem with political junkies is that they focus on the horse race and therefore, can only see change through the electoral process. But real change begins with the people first, usually in the form of social movements. I honestly think people like bbb and Marcos simply do not or cannot understand that concept. They have the process for change in the wrong order. The politicians and political process are the last to change, not the first. They are the gate keepers of the status quo and it takes a lot of change in the public for them to finally react positively. Until then, they will do everything in their power to negate change.
One of the main reasons I do the Peace vigil is that it gives me a chance to interact with other people in a one on one relationship. I cannot change the politicians directly, but I may change one or more people's minds. The second reason for going out in the public is often it is the only way to keep the issue in the minds of people. Our media has totally failed the public in that aspect.
Maybe it is my age. I am of the Viet Nam era. But I still believe it is foolhardy not to use every tool available to get our message out. For me, personally, going out on the sidewalk with a sign the reads "No More Wars...Try PEACE" and talking to people is the best way I can do something. It is something I am very comfortable with and it gives me an opportunity to actually have a conversation with one or more other humans. What I have found is that even with many people who are far more conservative than me politically, we can find some common ground in our conversations about the wars.
I want to add one more thing about the Ferguson protests specifically. People of color have been on the short end of the stick forever. Police brutality is one of those things. They have been patient and the system continues to beat them down. The Ferguson protests and riots are a symptom of the ills that our society has consistently inflicted upon PoC. We would not be seeing the Ferguson protests if our white majority society was treating PoC with respect and equality.