History will remember 2011 as the year of the popular uprising. The common man is creating history in different corners of the world. What else do the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street protests, the anti-austerity protests in Greece and Spain, and the anti-corruption campaign in India herald?
The Arab Spring, which started in Tunisia Dec. 18, 2010, following Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation in protest against corruption and ill-treatment by police, overthrew governments in three countries. President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia Jan.14, following the Tunisian revolution. In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak resigned Feb 11 after 18 days of massive protests, ending his 30-year presidency. Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown Aug. 23, after the National Transitional Council (NTC) took control. Gadhafi was assassinated Oct. 20.
Protests occurred in Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and Oman too.
The U.S. also witnessed a series of demonstrations. The protests started July 13 when the Canadian-based Adbusters Foundation, best known for its advertisement-free anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, proposed a peaceful occupation of the Wall Street to protest against corporate influence on democracy.
Termed as Occupy Wall Street, the ongoing protests are against social and economic inequality, high unemployment, corruption, and the undue influence of corporations. The protesters' slogan, We are the 99%, refers to the growing difference in wealth in the U.S. among the wealthiest, who comprise one percent and the rest of the population.
The pictures below show how people's movements affected different countries.