Extended Interview: Where Arab Spring and Occupy Meet

A year ago this month, pro-democracy activists in the Middle East began a series of protests. Starting in Tunisia, and quickly spreading to Egypt, Libya, and throughout the region. Clashes between protesters and soldiers often turned deadly. Yet those demonstrations managed to uproot decades-old military dictatorships, and triggered a wave of activism that swept the world.

One of the organizers in Cairo was Ahmed Naguib. I talked to him - and to Tammy Shapiro, an Occupy Wall Street organizer in New York - about the common ground their movements share and where activists in Egypt and the U.S. go from here. We aired a short version of this interview on the show today. Listen to the full interview above.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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Look, I am part of the Occupy movement, and i would have pretended like we are risking anywhere near as much as those in the Arab Spring. but if they want to accept us as part of their own... as a larger movement, I am both humbled and accepting of it. I see a need for this movement to be global, and if we can link with the arab spring uprisers, it will not only give us more credibility, but a much louder voice to bring our message. Also, if you don't know what Occupy is about (which you clearly don't) and you don't know what the Arab Spring is about (also pretty clear) please refrain from voicing your opinion forcefully. it is both silly an misleading .and dosn't do justice to you or the topic. I am a Master's Student, a former Peace Corps Volunteer, and I fight for you too darrfm3.

I am overwhelmingly confused on how anyone could make a connection between the uprising in Egypt and the OWS movement. Apples and oranges, Kai.

Protesting for a change from 40 years of Mubarak's rule is one thing. Defecating on a police car because of an unpaid student debt is something else entirely.

I feel you do a great injustice to the Egyptian movement by comparing it to the petulant demonstrations of spoiled American youth. To hear Ms. Shapiro claim the OWS "risk it all" in, vandalizing public property in their fight for a $20 minimum wage is hardly comparable to those who risked their lives to fight for a change of government.

I am sorry that this OWS rabble has captured the hearts of the liberal media, as this will only prolong the "gimme" generation's whining.

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