"This is America", the reporter told the police officers. "I have the right to talk to anybody I want to talk to."
The Constitution and the freedom of association written into the 1st Amendment, after all, is just a piece of paper. As Chairman Mao put it, power flows from the barrel of a gun. And we have almost a million registered "peace officers" working for governments here in the United States -- or 1 out of every 200 adult Americans carries a badge and a gun and is authorized by the State to use it as required to maintain "public order", Constitution be damned. As a reporter for the New York Times just found out the hard way, though at least they didn't tase him. If he'd gotten one bit more uppity, though, I'm sure they would have.
Welcome to Soviet America, sheep.
-- Badtux the Soviet Penguin