TIME Magazine upholding its tradition of designating a group, individual or sometimes an idea as “Person of the Year” has chosen ‘The Protester’ as 2011′s Person of the Year. To all those who protested, bled for your causes of freedom and justice, cried in mourning for your fallen fellows, endured police brutality, lasted through the storms of violence and awakened the rest of us, we salute you proudly. TIME Magazine stated that “2011 was unlike any year since 1989″ referring to the almost spontaneous global series of protests and movements that sprung up across the world.
From the tip of Algeria to Tunisia to Yemen and from Libya through Egypt, Palestine, Syria and to Kyrgyzstan, protesters gathered and made significant contributions, and against all odds, have begun to change the face of their very nations with their own sweat and their own hands without an “absolute government” in place.
It was not just the repressed peoples of the Middle East who rose up and righteously demanded for reform and better livelihoods, it was also the children and scholars in Chile, the women yearning for greater freedom in Saudi Arabia and the men who refused to back down in Athens, Moscow and Minsk.
It was also the indignant protesters in Madrid, the democratic activists in Myanmar under Aung San Suu Kyi along with the persistent Ladies in White who helped make a difference.
Protests also stirred – and still are – in India, China and Tibet, the last two where assemblies were quickly prevented by tens of thousands of security forces due to fears of an Asian Jasmine Revolution or an Asian Spring occurring.
Then the Occupy movement hit Wall Street, the financial district that many Americans directed their frustrations and anger over the current state of the economy and politics towards for dragging down the “99%”.
Then that movement spread across North America, towards Canada’s Toronto and the West Coast’s Oakland where protests and encampments are still fighting back against what many see as corporate greed and what they do not want in the future for their children and themselves.
Those in Nepal started to speak up against the Nepalese families’ selling of their own daughters into sex slavery, those in Cote d’Ivoire started to reinforce their safety, Tymoshenko and her many supporters tried to appeal, Julian Assange successfully appealed, Iceland’s people contributed towards drafting a new constitution, and the repressed atheists, homosexuals and minorities continued to fight for greater recognition.
Those on the high seas of the Internet – AntiSec, LulzSec, Anonymous and others – ensured that potentially stifling bills like “SOPA” (Stop Online Piracy Act) and that the corrupted, conspiring and abusive individuals, “security firms”, organizations and banks came into the public’s eyesight.
Equality, justice, and freedom from repression despite sex, religion, lack of religion and whatever else are still being clamored for by many.
We have come a long way, but the fight is still not finished ladies and gentlemen. No, far from it indeed.
It is all just simply beginning and TIME has affirmed this with its correct decision of the Person of the Year. Now we cannot truly be ignored. We cannot be truly erased or put down on the list of Bing News, Google News and other media forever.
We will continue Occupying, we will continue fighting for our children’s and our Earth’s futures, we will continue to bleed until our reasonable demands are met, we will continue to shout for the world, we will continue to protest out on the streets and no matter how much pressure is put onto us, we will prevail.
To everyone, and in respect of those who gave their very lives, we again salute and commend you for your bravery and action that has brought us this far. Rest assured, your sacrifices will NOT go wasted.
We will finish the fight.
(Cover Photo: TIME Magazine)