Time magazine has named "The Protester" as its iconic person of the year for 2011 on Wednesday.
"Is there a global tipping point for frustration? Everywhere, it seems, people said they'd had enough," Time Editor Rick Stengel said in a statement. "They dissented; they demanded; they did not despair, even when the answers came back in a cloud of tear gas or a hail of bullets. They literally embodied the idea that individual action can bring collective, colossal change."
From the uprisings that rocked the Arab world to the protests in Greece and other European nations to the Occupy Wall Street movement that spanned the globe, the magazine's pick seems a likely choice. But for Gerald Celente, publisher of the Trends Journal, Time magazine is somewhat off base.
"They are not on 'time,'" says Celente, who is also the director of the Trends Research Institute and is known for his prescient calls. In fact, last year at this time, he was talking about the likelihood for increased social unrest in 2011. "They are just calling it protesters," he continues. "We are calling  the 'invasion of the 'Occtupy,'" meaning one movement with many occupations.
His point rests upon the idea that most protests come and go, as did the Arab Spring and the EU protests. But the Occupy movement has staying power and will flourish in 2012, he believes. It will survive and thrive next year because of what many criticize and cite as the movement's weakness, says Celente.
"The very weakness that the people think of the Occupy movement, not having a leader not having one message, is in fact its very strength," he says.
To wit, what began as the Occupy Wall Street protest three months ago has spread across the globe to roughly 90 countries and 1,700 cities and has manifested into a whole host of splinter movements here in the U.S., most recently Occupy Congress, Occupy the Ports and Occupy Wal-Mart.
Celente underscores his prediction that the 'Occtupy' movement will spread by comparing it with the WikiLeaks phenomenon, which grabbed global headlines earlier in the year for its ability to uncover government and corporate secrets. Despite the significant information exposed by WikiLeaks, the organization has been wounded and discredited due to the damaging allegations about its leader Julian Assange.
"The 'Occtupy' doesn't have a head to cut off … you cut off one tentacle, another one grows," Celente says. "This is huge, and it is just going to continue to spread."
So where will it spread in 2011?
"You are going to start seeing it, really start spreading in the spring, particularity with the students," he says. "They got a load of debt [and] tuition prices are going up … so you are going to start seeing more campus occupations like the one we saw at Berkeley." (See: UC Davis Pepper-Spray Video Outrages The World)
"When the money at the top stops flowing down to the man on the street, the blood starts flowing in the streets," he says.
For more, see:
- Politics & Government
- Gerald Celente