Skip to main content

From the Arab Spring, through Zuccotti Park and the streets of Athens, there is change in the wind.

Maybe it's from the near-dawn of the year 2012, which is more eagerly anticipated in apocalyptic circles than the millenial rollover in 2000.  Or perhaps -- no, probably -- it's the awakening of a global movement in response to the inequalities, inequity, and powerlessness that face billions of people around the world every day.

America is one slice of the planet.  When I first read that Time Magazine had chosen "The Protester" as its annual person of the year, I cringed a bit.  "Isn't that a bit too broad?", I thought to myself.  After a few minutes reflection, I decided not.

It's not too broad because there's a consciousness awakening in the world that isn't just limited to circumstances in the United States.  The economy is global; the reach of the banksters and political corruption extends even to the most lonely outpost on the planet.  If there is a buck to be made, or a person to be exploited for financial gain, some 1%er somewhere will seize on those opportunities to their own advantage.

The push-back by the 99% started in 2011.

As for our own American piece of the pie, Time says:

Until late September, 99% of New Yorkers had never heard of Zuccotti Park, a privately owned public plaza tucked between the Federal Reserve Bank and the World Trade Center site. On the last Saturday of the summer — sunny, mid-60s, perfect — a couple thousand people showed up, a hundred slept overnight, and the occupation was on. It seemed as though the world would little note nor long remember it. On the third day, the first arrests — of protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks in violation of an antique New York anti-insurrection statute — got scant attention....

...Globalization and going viral have been the catchphrases of the networked 21st century. But until now the former has mainly referred to a fluid worldwide economy managed by important people, and the latter has mostly meant cute-animal videos and songs by nobodies. This year, do-it-yourself democratic politics became globalized, and real live protest went massively viral. But as they've rejuvenated and enlarged the idea of democracy, the protesters, and the rest of us, are discovering that democracy is difficult and sometimes a little scary. Because deciding what you don't want is a lot easier than deciding and implementing what you do want, and once everybody has a say, everybody has a say.

Time's award this year is an acknowledgement of the inevitable change that true, committed social movements tend to birth.  The shift of conventional wisdom to "inevitability" couldn't occur in a vacuum in the U.S.  -- indeed, it had to be a global phenomena -- and that's exactly what's happening.

America's role in continuing this shift could never be more important than it might be when the weather breaks in the Spring of 2012:

The nonleader leaders of Occupy are using the winter to build an organization and enlist new protesters for the next phase. They have shifted the national conversation.

May you live in interesting times.

(Tip of my hat to dmhlt 66 for grabbing the cover image.)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site