I just returned from Mexico city last week and I must say that if I am feeling a bit of warmth in my blood it is not entirely due to any fevers brought about by the surfeit of mosquito bites I enjoyed. Every day that I would sit by my hotel window or walk about in the Zocalo, I would find: supporters of Obrador making appeals to the passing public, this or that march, rally or strike (one involving the teacher's union that brought out the riot police!), demonstrations against U.S action, and much more. Every day at 8am the soldiers would march out of the Palacio Nacional to hoist the enormous Mexican flag at the centre of the square or take it back down at 6pm, but in between and after their formalised ritual, the square belonged to the people.
I wonder: Is the absence of such a thing as a public square a matter of significance for the nature of political action in the United States?