Time's Person of the Year: "The Protester"

 Yay for revolution! The inspiring and sobering story of this year of global uprising--from Egypt and Tunisia to Bahrain, Wisconsin, Spain, Wall Street and Moscow--is by now is familiar, but it's the narrative that makes up the story behind Time Magazine's "person" of the year.



Wall Street:

The Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself on fire sparked a light that spread to Tahrir Square and created bloody uprisings in the Middle East to peaceful but painful ones ones here in the US, Time describes the current of dissent blowing around the world this year:

In Sidi Bouzid and Tunis, in Alexandria and Cairo; in Arab cities and towns across the 6,000 miles from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean; in Madrid and Athens and London and Tel Aviv; in Mexico and India and Chile, where citizens mobilized against crime and corruption; in New York and Moscow and dozens of other U.S. and Russian cities, the loathing and anger at governments and their cronies became uncontainable and fed on itself.

And,  the story goes on to note, although some are fighting brutal dictatorships and risking their lives and others are just risking cruel treatment by the police, 

It's remarkable how much the protest vanguards share. Everywhere they are disproportionately young, middle class and educated. Almost all the protests this year began as independent affairs, without much encouragement from or endorsement by existing political parties or opposition bigwigs. All over the world, the protesters of 2011 share a belief that their countries' political systems and economies have grown dysfunctional and corrupt — sham democracies rigged to favor the rich and powerful and prevent significant change. They are fervent small-d democrats. Two decades after the final failure and abandonment of communism, they believe they're experiencing the failure of hell-bent megascaled crony hypercapitalism and pine for some third way, a new social contract.

Read more here and click through for great packages including photo portraits of protesters.. Below, watch a video in which the editor of Time discusses this choice and a "why we protest" video focusing on American uprisings.


AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at December 14, 2011, 3:20am

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