I always think about the dynamics of protesting in America. There are protests everywhere in the world, but I don't think other governments, once the line is drawn, are too worried about the rights of protestors. I don't know the story behind this picture, but I'm guessing there was no millions-of-dollars fueled law suit to the government after this person was hauled away in a police van (see link). If so I cannot find anything on it.
So, the point, in comparison to other countries, I think when the cops say, hey, don't walk onto a freeway - and then may have to pepper spray you to comply, at least there was a reason you think about as you rub your eyes to sleep that night.