-By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY
December 14, 2011- Time magazine has named "The Protester" as its Person of the Year for 2011, citing a worldwide outburst of people-power from Tunisia to Moscow to Wall Street.
"A year after a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself ablaze, dissent has spread across the Middle East, to Europe and the U.S., reshaping global politics and redefining people power," the magazine says.
It's remarkable how much the protest vanguards share. Everywhere they are disproportionately young, middle class and educated. 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.