Thanks to Beth Novak for pointing me to the NYCLU site on Protecting Protest:
Protecting Protest is a campaign of the New York Civil Liberties Union to ensure that protest can take place safely and legally during the Republican National Convention this August. We're defending civil liberties from a storefront near Madison Square Garden, in the courts by challenging NYPD demonstration control tactics, at City Hall, and on the streets.
The Republican national convention and the protests it inpires seem like a decent field test of the hypothesis that it's still a free country. I am mildly confident that thanks to the the work of the NYCLU and other groups like it, we will again fail to invalidate this hypothesis.