Image 1 of 15: Inspired by the Arab way: What broke out in Sidi Bouzid- an economically-fueled incident involving a stall trader-
has now caught like the plague. Posters directly allude to the source of confidence drawn from the Arab Spring.
The battle of the 'haves' & 'have-nots' - in terms of power or of wealth- lie at the heart of these revolutions.
Image 1 of 15: The most wide-spread Western riots started in New York with this movement "Occupy Wall Street" proposing that it was
time to rise up and reject the current economic system and demand change. Time to break down the wall or barrier between
obscene wealth and abject poverty, in the land of opportunity.
Image 1 of 15: France, the nation of salon diplomacy, since protesting the public veil-burqa ban, has another bone to pick.
People took to the streets of Paris May 2011, to call for a popular uprising in imitation of a Spanish campaign
denouncing mainstream politics & unemployment. Unsatisfied with the old models: "Real democracy now”; “Paris wake up”.
Image 1 of 15: Mediterranean-blooded Spaniards enjoy a ruckus: In May, they clanked pots & pans to indicate
growing hunger. The May 15 (15-M) Movement highlighted - boisterously - serious problems caused by financial crisis.
By October, the capital's 'plaza' overflowed with people of the "indignado" ("indignant") Movement, mounted since May to
Image 1 of 15: London burnt & protested like only this nation, home to the "Kaiser Chiefs" who unwittingly proclaim to 'predict a riot' in their aptly-named album, 'Employment', can. Summer was stoked by rioting youth who caused destruction & disgrace, on
the high-streets (nay, high-seas!). Less a symbolic targeting, more a criminal looting of computer stores.
Image 1 of 15: Proto-Western Israel joins the protest band-wagon: Rising housing prices and social inequalities in the Jewish state give
the Israelis a premise to follow their Mid-eastern neighbors and to rage against the State. It remains to be seen whether
they will 'Occupy' 'Tel-Aviv' since arguably they've already Occupied East Jerusalem, as a state.
Image 1 of 15: Greece is still the poster-child for the financial crisis in Europe, but others are fast-joining rank and file of Western countries
battling their own debt crises, exacerbated by dwindling incomes. The US is certainly the Super-Power with a super-credit concern to match.
Image 1 of 15: Germany rushes in. While abstaining from the first rounds of Spring & Summer rioting, Germany is making up for lost time
with its widespread weekend protests. Other new members to Global Protest club included Tokyo, in the march
Image 1 of 15: Vortex of people power: a Portuguese Summer protest. Spain, Portugal, Greece & Italy to an extent were the first
to crack from economic strain, tipping into protest early 2011. Portugal is a flash-point for severe economic
distress in Europe. The 'Occupy' campaign visited Lisbon before other financial centers, in Frankfurt, Rome, Madrid.
Image 1 of 15: "Global change": This was the rallying cry for much of the Globe this weekend passed. Speakers such as Ronald Regan, the
former actor-President of the US participated. Most fittingly, the Marxist, en-vogue, philosopher-dissident Slavoj Žižek
gave an inspiring address to a world ripe for an alternative system. One that rejected Capitalism.
Image 1 of 15: No longer a 'Wall' to occupy or tear down, Berlin keeps the peace, not wishing to give Iran another chance at a quip to
the 'Western' police- handling of riots. Frankfurt - the Euro-zone's financial hub - joined Europe's mainly peaceful assemblies in voicing objection to the perceived social injustice in the people- versus- banks stand-off.
Image 1 of 15: Occupy London's Stock Exchange: headlined the UK's continental effort in a bout of peaceful protest
near St. Paul's this weekend. This assembly of happy campers marked the more familiar British spirit of
Wimbledon-style overnight queuing, as people expressed that this was civil disobedience, not protest.
A far cry from London's Summer fire.
Image 1 of 15: Rome: On the weekend of 'October 15th'- given credence & official license by an eponymous Twitter hash-tag- peaceful,
ubiquitous demonstrations near the Colosseum turned ugly & riotous. As Rome went up in flames, Italians investigated
what had tipped a mass-gathering to register complaint & economic distress, into street violence by youth mobs.
Image 1 of 15: Known as riot-central in the US, Chicago was no late-comer to the spin-off of Occupy Wall-Street. Arrests came
after lake-front campers refused to shift at 'closing time'. Trespassing in the park apparently was not fair-game just because
of protest fever or comfort in numbers. Chicago police were not moved by the anti-establishment mood.
Image 1 of 15: This fortuitously hapless Greek tried self-immolation multiple times before being rescued by
bystanders who unfortunately (or fortunately) had seen this kind of thing before in a square in Tunisia. Despair from bankruptcy caused this Greek debt victim to give up in public frustration. What worked for Arabia does not necessarily cut it in Europe.
European 'indignance' with a touch of Arab flare has brewed and begun to boil over.
Europe has stolen the thunder from the Arab spotlight. Protests are no longer the preserve of the Middle East. Not even Palestine going the UN-way, or not, or indeed Syria still unfurling could draw our attention away from European plazas, piazzas and squares in financial hubs last week.
What can the Western World who have democracy and presumably wealth be possibly missing or wanting?
It turns out the West feels disenfranchised too. Not from power and politics as much as from economic and financial inclusion and stakes. The demand is for sharing and more caring.
However the two - power and money - have always gone hand in hand like love and marriage. So the line between the Western and (Mid) Eastern cause for complaint is becoming thinnner, as the world seems to be errupting in one mass hunger for change.