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Todd Gitlin on 'A voice in Tahrir Square, March 25, 2011'

About the author
Todd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University and author of the new e-book Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street, also to be published in an expanded edition, in paperback, this August (HarperCollins).

I imagine that some amazing eruption of decency stopped the murderers in their tracks, convinced people of wildly different views that they ought to shut up for a moment and listen to The Other, overcame the narrowest of pinched minds, and in particular, convinced the comfortable (who are no more, though also no less, human than anyone else) that vast discrepancies in life-chances are unconscionable.  I do not know how such an eruption might take place.  There are so many counterforces, so many rewards for brutality and indifference, so many reasons to act reflexively, unthinkingly.  But I would like to think that in 2050, people will remember the faces of women like this.  She was arguing with a soldier in Tahrir Square, March 25, 2011.  She was unafraid.  She was in the spirit of openDemocracy.

Todd Gitlin, March 25, 2011

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