A new social change unfolding in Arab world.


Young people in the Arab world are on the move again. They have taken to town squares in massive countrywide protests most notably in Lebanon and Iraq to call for sweeping social reform, which, as they see it, must include the toppling of systems that favour an ossified, self-serving elite imbued with a sense of smug entitlement. Yes, young people today are on the move, but not just in Lebanon and Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East, but in places as far apart as Spain and Columbia, Hong Kong and Algeria. They started their protests together and they, if precedent kicks in, will end them together. The image is of demonstrators who consider themselves citizens of countries much larger than their own - abstract, mythological nations of the mind, as it were - and participants in the forward march of history.

They speak a language that transcends their native tongue, an argot of political discourse responsive to the dignity of man: The poetry of action, the poetry of justice and freedom. Will the social movements in the Arab world today ultimately bring about social change, that is, stable governments of checks and balances, and honest politicians sworn to serve? Just society for all Recall this with me if you're of my generation. When in September 1969 Abbie Hoffman, the renowned political activist and Sixties anarchist par excellence, appeared in court at the Chicago Seven Trial, charged by the federal government with 'conspiracy', 'inciting to riot' and other offences related to the anti-war protests in Chicago held outside the Democratic National Convention in August the previous year, he was...

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