I'm no huge fan of the Occupy Wall Street folks. To me, they come across as just a bunch of privileged whiners moaning about things they know nothing about. Nonetheless, the whole thing makes me proud of this country.
It is not the protesters themselves that inspire me, but how their others have behaved. The beauty of the First Amendment is that it allows even the foolish and the unhinged to say their bit. I wonder what would happen if there were mass protests in, for example, the People's Republic of Tom Friedman. If New York City were run by the Chinese Communist Party- which may not actually be too far from reality- they would have had tanks rolling in by now. The worst that the Evil Fascist Capitalist Imperialist Racist Tea Party Nazi Wall Street stooges can muster? One NYPD cop pepper spraying a protester
In capitalist America, we let you speak regardless of how foolish or ignorant you are, and we might throw you in a police van if you start acting out. In Soviet Russia, we engineer famines in Ukraine. Oh, how I love my country.