Name This Moment

In two short months, we’ve seen two dictators leave power and the tide of the Tea Party movement begin to turn. Young people are connecting using new forms of communication and stating that the ideals of solidarity and government of the people are very present in today’s world.

In the Institute’s Unconventional Wisdom newsletter, we asked readers to send us their suggestions as to what they would call the current period of democratic demonstrations by young people and workers across North Africa, the Middle East, and in far-away but not unrelated Madison, Wisconsin. Thanks to those who sent your comments like Maynard Riley (“Middle Class Insurrection”) and Benedetta Camarota (“Jasmine Revolutions”). On the ground in Egypt, what began as the January 25 Revolution is also being called the 18-Day Revolution or Egypt’s Youth Revolution. In Tunisia, they are calling it the Sidi Bouzid Revolt, after the city where protests began.

We discussed a number of suggestions and puns from IPS staff. Among them were Pharaoh-less / Fearless Uprising, The Great Neocon Refudiation, and the The time of Democracy — Whatever It Means!

Some of my favorites were Democracy 2.0 and The Great Uprising. Truly, the impact of social media tools has made a difference and allowed grassroots organizers to maximize the support of massive protesters. Another one I liked was Democracy Spring. Millions of people are springing into democratic action, refusing to be subjects to the cynical rule of tyrants and choosing to believe that a better world is possible.

Still, we don’t know where this moment is going. The movements for democracy aren’t over, and with the situation escalating in Libya, the geopolitical implications for the region and the world are barely beginning to become clear. But we know one thing; we’re living through times of change across the world. Regardless of all the monikers we can come up with, the resounding voice of democracy is a refreshing one in our work to continue working for peace, justice, and the environment.

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