Of course, the Arab Spring has now turned into an Arab Winter — more like an Arab Nightmare, with Hosni Mubarak removed from Egypt, then replaced by an elected Muslim Brotherhood, which was then overthrown by a military takeover; Colonel Gadhafi was overthrown in Libya, which has now collapsed into tribal chaos; the brutal Syrian civil war; instability in Jordan and Lebanon; and on and on. Add to all of this chaos the brutal and bloody battle between Israel and Hamas.
SYED QUAMRUL AHSAN:From the streets of Cairo and Madrid to online forums and social media sites, “leaderless” protests are on the rise. But the very qualities that led to their short-term success may condemn them to failure in the long run.
Activists in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere say the lack of top-down management has been an important element in their recent success in rallying crowds disillusioned with the ruling establishment, using social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Anti-austerity protesters in Europe have used similar tactics to organize mass street protests they hope will put pressure on governments to rethink spending cuts.
It’s not all online. In street demonstrations, sit-ins and meetings in Cairo, Athens, Madrid and London, loosely organized protesters hold public meetings and votes on immediate logistical issues and wider political aims, trying to build agreement and consensus.
“Our revolution did not have a head but it did…
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