During a Twitter exchange with State Senator Jamie Eldridge, a former business associate of mine Gustavo Quiroga chimed in with a photo purportedly to show that speech does not take money.
— Gustavo Quiroga (@GooseQ) June 18, 2014
The problem is that every one of those protests cost money. Some of it significant. Case in point, the 1963 March on Washington. NBC News outlined the costs associated with the March on Washington:
6. The march on Washington cost $29,563 to organize in D.C., including $18,838 for sound equipment.
Other expenses included $16,626 for printing leaflets and bulletins and $11,277 for printing buttons and pennants. Two-thirds of the money raised came from donations and the selling of souvenirs and tickets.
In 1963 those were not insignificant sums. The cost in 2014 dollars of those line items is:
Organizational Costs- $26,563 (1963) = $226,532 (2014)
Printing Leaflets- $16,626 (1963) = $127,456 (2014)
Printing Signage/Banners/Buttons- $11,277 (1963) = $86,450 (2014)
The total cost in 2014 dollars for just organization, and printing related charges for the March on Washington was $441 thousand. That doesn’t even count the cost of transportation to get people to Washington for the event.
So yes, speech costs money, and always has.