Thursday, December 15, 2011

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

It's a bit goofy, but, then, Time often goes goofy with this award. Remember when you -- yes, you -- were Time's Person of the Year? Maybe that made some sense, but it seemed pretty stupid at the time.

Well, 2011 was indeed a year of protests, particularly in the Middle East but also Occupy Wall Street. And whatever the outcomes of those protests (regime change here but not there, OWS protests forcibly shut down and the movement fading), there is no denying that they achieved a great deal (e.g., in Egypt and Libya) and effectively challenged a corrupt and unjust status quo (e.g., in Greece, as well as OWS generally), changing the content of political discourse and bringing much-needed attention not just to issues like income inequality but to those suffering under the weight of that status quo.

The question now is whether 2012 will see any sort of follow-through from these protests or whether the protesters and that for which they protested will be relegated to the dustbin of history. We can hope that it's the former, but we will all need to play our part in not letting the status quo prevail.

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