Role of the Arab Spring

Many argue there is a connection between the Occupy Wall Street movement and other contemporary movements—specifically those in the Arab Spring.  Kurt Anderson takes this further, arguing that not only is there a connection between the two, but that the movements in the Arab Spring, and specifically Tunisia, are what triggered a new wave of protests with renewed impact.  Chris Wilson, Board Chair of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, writes that it was the pro-democracy  movements in the Arab Spring which caused citizens in the US to question the effectiveness of their own democracy.  Anderson makes the point that the stakes for protesters in the US are far different from protesters in other nations.  Those in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria must be constantly afraid of death, imprisonment, and the general safety of themselves and their families.  In the US, protesters are generally treated humanely by police, and at times even left to protest in peace.  So, though it is the Arab Spring which, according to Anderson,  triggered the OWS movement, individuals in the Arab Spring risked much more in joining those movements than  did those in the OWS movement.


Anderson, Kurt. “The Protester.” TIME. Web.

“Occupy & Arab Spring | Buddhist Peace Fellowship.” Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Web. 22 Mar. 2012. <;.

– Lauren Frank



3 responses to “Role of the Arab Spring

  1. coffeeshoprhino

    Do you have an specific evidence/examples of the violence those in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria are facing? Images perhaps?

  2. You have a good analysis of the link that Anderson discusses between the movements in the Arab Spring leading to Occupy Protests and how the stakes for protestors differ. I would be interested in knowing more about how this makes the protests themselves different though. For example, since people in the Arab Spring risked more by protesting does this mean they acted more or less violently? I remember a quote being mentioned in class about OWS being a “wussy protest” compared to those in Tunisa, Egypt, etc. so you could probably tie that back to the factors of violence that Bill Wasik talks about. He mentions the power factor or “the perception within a crowd that it has the ability to do what it wants, to take to the streets without fear of punishment,” which I think is very applicable to your argument in this post.


  3. Pingback: OWS: Taking Back Democracy | Occupy Wall Street Analysis

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