Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time Magazine's Person Of The Year: The Protester

Time Magazine gave a nod to the activists who, globally, have taken to the streets in protest of unfair banking and despotic governments by naming Time Magazine's Person of the Year "The Protester."

They credit this year's trend of civil unrest with one man with a produce cart in Tunisia:
It began in Tunisia, where the dictator's power grabbing and high living crossed a line of shamelessness, and a commonplace bit of government callousness against an ordinary citizen — a 26-year-old street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi — became the final straw. Bouazizi lived in the charmless Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, 125 miles south of Tunis. On a Friday morning almost exactly a year ago, he set out for work, selling produce from a cart. Police had hassled Bouazizi routinely for years, his family says, fining him, making him jump through bureaucratic hoops. On Dec. 17, 2010, a cop started giving him grief yet again. She confiscated his scale and allegedly slapped him. He walked straight to the provincial-capital building to complain and got no response. At the gate, he drenched himself in paint thinner and lit a match.
Bouazizi died, but a wave of protests and outrage were born in the Middle East and have grown to encompass the world as people take to the streets. I wonder: will the powers-that-be begin to listen to the chanted slogans and angry shouts at their doorstep? And if not, what next?

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