Time has chosen its 2011 Person of the Year: The Protester. With numerous uprisings occurring in the Middle East, the Occupy Wall Street engulfing North America and Tibetans defending their way of life, the protester is now an iconic symbol.
Time magazine’s Person of the Year – formerly Man of the year – has quite a history. In its honorary tradition, Time has listed the infamous and the famous, the good and the bad and the logical and not so logical.
Since 1927, individuals and things such as Charles Augustus Lindbergh (the very first Man of the Year), Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Elizabeth II, the computer, the Earth, Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke have all been named Person of the Year.
One of many protesters wearing a Guy Fawkes mask at the Occupy Toronto rally.
This year, Time has marked The Protester as the Person of the Year.
Protests have been quite a theme for much of 2011. The Arab Spring saw hundreds of thousands of Arabs stand up to their governments. Occupy Wall Street embarked on a mission across North America to show their frustrations and dissatisfaction with government. Tibetan monks self-immolated to defend their beliefs and cultural practices. The Greek situation intensified. Accusations of electoral irregularities, such as Russia and Congo, led to protests.
“Is there a global tipping point for frustration? Everywhere, it seems, people said they'd had enough,” wrote Time Editor Rick Stengel in a statement. “They dissented; they demanded; they did not despair, even when the answers came back in a cloud of tear gas or a hail of bullets. They literally embodied the idea that individual action can bring collective, colossal change. And although it was understood differently in different places, the idea of democracy was present in every gathering.”
Other nominees for 2011 were Admiral William H. McRaven, who led the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, Apple innovator Steve Jobs, former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, Anonymous, Casey Anthony, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
Who do you think should be 2011’s Person of the Year?