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 global wave of dissent. In 2011, protesters didn’t just voice their complaints; they changed the world.
Time magazine chose The Protester as its person of the year as a tribute to the demonstrations that defined 2011 starting with the Arab Spring, moving on to Spain and Greece, Russia and Congo to Occupy Wall Street.
A lot of people expected that Steve Jobs would make the cover but the magazine selects the person that had the greatest impact during the past year, for better or for worse. He has been mentioned in the Fond Farewells section though.
This year’s choice actually makes sense since all the mass protests were very shocking and really shook the world, and the Time honored all of those who were brave enough to speak their minds and change the mentalities.
The Runners-Up are:
- William McRaven: The Admiral
- Ai Weiwei: The Dissident
- Paul Ryan: The Prophet
- Kate Middleton: The Princess