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“The Protester” has been named Time magazine’s person of the year for 2011.
In choosing to highlight the year’s global protest movements of 2011, the magazine wrote, “No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square, it would incite protests that would topple dictators and start a wave of global dissent. In 2011, protesters didn’t just voice their complaints; they changed the world.”
And while the publication gave its person of the year designation to a generic entity, it profiled several specific people in the issue associated with various movements: Dr. Arthur Chen, Chelsea Elliott, Olmo Galvez, Ahmed Harara, Natalia Klossa and Antonis, Wael Nawara, Katerina Patrikarakou, Carmen Rodriguez, Javier Sicilia and Mohammad Bouazizi, the Tunisian whose self-immolation in Dec. 2010 is credited with sparking the Arab Spring.
Runner-ups for person of the year were William McRaven, the Navy admiral who commanded the capture (and killing) of Osama bin Laden; Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei; Republican Congressman and House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan and new British royal, Kate Middleton.
Pop culture figures were represented in the issue’s “Peope Who Mattered” category. There, comedian Louis C.K., Adele, and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother author Amy Chua were singled out alongside political heavyweights like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Acquitted Florida mom Casey Anthony, Warren Buffet, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Michele Bachmann and Hermain Cain were also among the people singled out by the magazine.
This isn’t the first year that Time has named a generic person or entity as its annual honoree: in 2006, the weekly gave the distinction to “you,” and in 1988, “Endangered Earth” was the cover subject.
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