Something rare happened today in New York. Not breasts bared at an Apple Store. Not a subway train arriving on time. No—the city's nerds (myself included) took asses out of chairs to get angry about SOPA. Finally.

By the time I arrived in Midtown Manhattan—where a hurried rally had been tossed up around the offices of PIPA supporters Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand—most of the group had dispersed. One organizer guessed several hundred had been there. That's small nuts compared to Occupy Wall Street—this isn't a question of social justice, after all, but a rally opposing a bill most Americans have never heard of, in a city known for idleness and leisure. Yet here, even after the main event had tucked back into train tunnels and office buildings, stood dozens of cold people with signs. They were thoughtful, loud, and determined. It was way more than just the expected "pile of white guys," as one protester put it. Thank god.

Two of them, seen in the video above, were screaming at each other about the inevitability of copyright tightening. Some smiled for photos, others stood stoic and tired. But they were all there, and not at their desk, retweeting or adding javascript blackouts or any number of easy ways to put solidarity on an LCD. The kind of people who frequent an event like this usually love to sit around pretending to care and do things—it's the stuff startup gold is molded from. But this wasn't the easy stuff, and it made me certain that SOPA and her ugly sister PIPA will indeed both die soon and unceremoniously. Throw 'em in the Hudson River.

SOPA Rage Spills into the Streets of New York

Photo by Jesse Chan-Norris

SOPA Rage Spills into the Streets of New York

Photo by Jesse Chan-Norris

SOPA Rage Spills into the Streets of New York

Photo by Jesse Chan-Norris

SOPA Rage Spills into the Streets of New York

SOPA Rage Spills into the Streets of New York

SOPA Rage Spills into the Streets of New York