At Time Magazine in 2011, they named their Person of the Year "The Protester."
I was recalling this yesterday as I was getting news from the front lines of the OWS Movement; not the front lines of the protesters, mind you...but from the NYPD Personnel that I know in real life.
They are not impressed. The OWS Movement is not the same as the Arab Spring that ousted dictators across the globe, people who are protesting for basic human rights and freedoms that most Americans take for granted...this movement is a statement from a group of fed-up Americans...fed-up with the control the banks and the Wall Street "Fat Cats" seem to have over American society as a whole. Since its inception, OWS has devolved, as the original premise behind this protest has morphed, and shifted, and changed...and basically come up short of its intended purpose.
The hard-core OWS participants are now getting very aggressive towards the NYPD. They have pushed, shoved, spit in the face of NYPD Personnel, they film, snap pictures, yell expletives, and I happen to know one NYPD Officer who was bit on the arm.
Has OWS finally derailed? I know a lot of New Yorkers who hope this is the case; people who work Downtown who are sick of the sights and smells of one of their main base camps. I also know people who supported the original theory behind the movement, but because of their own disorganization and unraveling, have lost faith in the cause.
My point is this: as protests erupted across the globe this past week, in every nook and cranny, I saw Police Officers stationed at the ready, their backs emblazoned with their POLICE logos filling every single camera shot, their participation in these news-worthy protests grossly overlooked, unless of course, there was a problem.
What the general public does not seem to understand is that every time you see a Protest, you are going to see a Police Officer...even in the most peaceful of all protests, police personnel are assigned to be Peace Officers and do the most basic of all tasks: crowd control. Behind them, sitting at home, are often families who worry, who have concerns about a rogue protester, who might even just be thinking in passing about whether or not their cop will get a chance to grab a sandwich that day.
So perhaps Time Magazine should think about naming The Police Officer the Person of the Year for 2012. Because up until now, I think it's safe to say that they've been overlooked.