Every time I come to New York, and attend a protest, I am shocked and awed at how crappy things are here. And when I ask local activists about it, people usually say something like "it's not so bad".

I want to ask folks to wake up and challenge the system. The ways that the police here control everything seem like unfair restrictions on constitutionally guaranteed rights.

I went to the "Day of Outrage" rally today near Wall Street. The police forced everyone into pens, they did not let people march when it was time to march, they kept the large crowd on the sidewalk at times (even though all the streets in the area were closed off), and they must have outnumbered protesters 3 to 1.

It seems like it's always like this here in New York. But it's not like this most other places. I'm sure there places where it's worse--maybe in Quatar. But in most of the rest of the world, the freedom to assemble, to speak out, to protest is the rule of the land. Don't think I'm naive about this stuff, I have had my freedom of speech denied more than once, and I'm well aware that people die for speaking out in many parts of the world, but folks need to challenge the system here in NYC.

Has anyone challenged this shit? In the streets? In the courts? Why do people tolerate it? I want to go to the Oaxaca protest tomorrow, but I'm not sure I can stomach another one of these roving pen, total bullshit protests.

Back home, we mostly assemble where we want, when we want. Sometimes we ask for permits, but mostly we don't. Sometimes, we force our way onto the streets for our marches, sometimes the cops are able to keep us on the sidewalks. We never get penned in, and I think if they tried it, people would resist. We have fought against restrictions in many ways, and are mostly able to keep the politicvvcal space open for everyone to act. What prevents that from happening here?