December 14, 2011

TIME'S Person Of The Year is "The Protestor"

Today, TIME magazine named its Person of the Year and it's actually more than one.  "The Protestor" is their "person" who has had the biggest effect on the world's event in 2011.  I thought they might be more specific, like chosing "the 99%", the phrase that has been popularized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, or the young men and women who bravely brought about an Arab Spring.  But I think using the more general term is actually more apt, in that it shows what a remarkable and broad range of protest this tumultuous year has seen around the world.

In fact, just two days ago, protestors took to the streets of Moscow to express their anger over what has been called a fixed Russian election, where longtime leader Vladamir Putin's party remained in power despite popular unrest. In some ways, it seems the world has a bit of a protesting virus that just keeps spreading.  First it was the Middle East, where protests in one country seemed to inspire those in another, eventually leading to the unthinkable toppling of Egypt's longtime leader Mubarak.  In the US, who would have guessed that the handful of original protestors who camped out in a park a couple blocks from Wall Street would have sparked a national movement encompassing thousands of people in less than a couple months?  

One of the main runners-up for TIME's honor this year was Admiral McRaven, who orchestrated the attack that killed Osama Bin Laden.  But the death of the leader of a weakened and increasingly marginalized Al Qaeda is less momentous than the birth of a global movement in which the masses, in the still-prophetic words of the fictional Howard Beale, are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.

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