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Cary Brunswick

December 31, 2011

Unrest, energy, economy were big news in 2011


The top spot should go to the Arab Spring uprisings, Occupy Wall Street and the liberation of Libya, events that would be combined under the story, Demonstrators protest, fight for equality, freedom and opportunity.

"History teaches us that people often will tolerate a repressive regime as long as it delivers the goods; in other words, when people have enough to eat, decent housing, jobs and a chance to better themselves and their families," I wrote Feb. 19. "Clearly, that has not been the case in Egypt and many of its Arab neighbors."

And apparently that also is not the case in the United States.

Months before the Occupy movement began, young people demonstrated in Arab countries because those nations were "not creating enough jobs to keep up with the tide of people entering the work force."

The roots of the discontent that spurred the Occupy movement are so similar to that of the Arab Spring demonstrators, I suggested the new movement should be called the American Autumn. It expressed opposition to corporate greed and control over the government, joblessness, and the financial industry for being the spur for the economic crisis.

It was not in jest that Time magazine's Person of the Year was a generic protester. In just a few months, "the Occupy Wall Street movement has been able to spur what's being called a `national conversation' about (income inequality) and big money's control of government," I wrote in November.

Way back in January, in response to Obama's State of the Union address, I wrote that it was " difficult to feel good about the chances for either government or the corporations being successful in achieving a bright future for our country. People have to decide what they should be doing now to help fulfill whatever best-chance scenario on which they rest their hopes."

With the Occupy movement, we are seeing what some people have decided to do to try to create a better future.

Concerning the U.S. involvement in aiding Libyan rebels, I wrote in June that Obama's "humanitarian pragmatism doesn't make our nation any more consistent and therefore more righteous. So if our role is seen as humanitarian, why Libya? What about Bahrain, Yemen or Syria?"

In Syria alone, thousands of demonstrators have been killed, but the U.S. stays out of the mix.


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Cary Brunswick

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