Right when the media were declaring the movement to be in decline, a massive global day of action radically reversed the expectations of the skeptics.
Imagine you had been asleep for the past year or so, and you suddenly woke up and tuned into today’s news: clashes in Rome and Milan, mass demonstrations in Athens, an uprising in Damascus, sit-ins in San Francisco, arrests in Madrid, huge protests in Chile, an enormous rally in New York, a worldwide student strike, and so on. Depending on whether you’re a career politician or an unemployed revolutionary, you’d either shit your pants in agony or jump through the roof in joy.
Having been attentively following and covering this movement from the very first day of the Egyptian Revolution — with an article entitled “The Global Revolutionary Wave of 2011?” — we have always hammered on the idea that this whole thing would spread, go global, and keep growing exponentially. But even I, the hopelessly naive romantic — obsessed as I was throughout my youth with 1789, 1848, 1917 and 1968 — had never expected to live through anything like this. Witnessing what 2011 has bloomed into just leaves me speechless.