Across the world people are crowding streets in massive protests and standing toe-to-toe with riot police to seek basic freedoms many of us take for granted in the United States.

Unfortunately, these hot spots lack the First Amendment in our Constitution that allows us to peacefully assemble.

In Moscow, independent candidates, who lacked the backing of the ruling United Russia party, wanted to run for office in the city elections. Crowds rarely seen before gathered in support.

What happened?

Amnesty International reported hundreds of people were hauled away by Kremlin hardliners for “unauthorized” assemblies, which Russia’s Constitutional Court reported should not be criminalized. One protestor, Konstantin Kotov, began serving a four-year prison sentence for the trumped-up charge.

Can you imagine being arrested for a crime that doesn’t exist?

In Hong Kong, images of riot police in helmets, behind see-through shields, wielding batons and tossing tear gas have been broadcast around the globe. The protestors took to the streets initially to strike down a law allowing Hong Kong suspects to be extradited and tried in China.

Even though authorities withdrew the law, demonstrators promise to keep protesting unjust leadership and China’s control.

Think how you would react if police officers decided to disregard the Fourth Amendment that protects us from authorities showing up at our homes and rifling through our belongings for no reason?

In Cape Town, thousands of women marched on the South African parliament and promised to shut down the country, after a record number of brutal attacks in August against women. The unprecedented violence included 137 sexual offenses per day and 30 domestic violence deaths.

Women waved banners that read “Enough is enough,” and “My body is not your crime scene.” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told the angry crowd that men who rape and kill will be locked up for life.

What would you do if this happened to your wife, daughters, mother or other important women in your life?

We have our own protest-worthy problems in the United States, but they seem to drag on and on. Who out there will lead our protests?

Duwayne Escobedo covers Santa Rosa County for the Daily News. You can contact him at 850-315-4489 in Fort Walton Beach, on his cell phone at 850-255-1484 or email him at