TIME Person of the Year: THE PROTESTER

There really could not have been any other choice.

Time Magazine has selected, appropriately,


as the most influential Person of the Year.



Excerpts from Kurt Anderson story:

“— suddenly, shockingly — starting exactly a year ago, it became the defining trope of our times. And the protester once again became a maker of history.”


“…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.”


“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.”


“But this year, instead of plugging in the headphones, entering an Internet-induced fugue state and quietly giving in to hopelessness, they used the Internet to find one another and take to the streets to insist on fairness and (in the Arab world) freedom.”


“In each place, discontent that had been simmering for years got turned up to a boil.”


“It was, in other words, unlike anything in any of our lifetimes, probably unlike any year since 1848, when one street protest in Paris blossomed into a three-day revolution that turned a monarchy into a republican democracy and then — within weeks, thanks in part to new technologies (telegraphy, railroads, rotary printing presses) — inspired an unstoppable cascade of protest and insurrection in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Venice and dozens of other places across Europe, as well as a huge peaceful demonstration of democratic solidarity in New York that marched down Broadway and occupied a public park a few blocks north of Wall Street. How perfect that the German word Zeitgeist was transplanted into English in that unprecedented, uncanny year of insurrection.”

‘Mohammed suffered a lot. he worked hard. But when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity.’ ?—Mannoubia Bouazizi, Tunisia

             Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

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