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Forget the Arab Spring: Call it the 'Human Spring'

Protesters (L) and anti-riot policemen clash after protesters tried to break police blockade leading to the house of representatives building in Manila on July 22, 2013. Thousands of protesters tried to march to the house of representatives for a protest ahead of Philippine President Benigno Aquino's annual State of the nation address (SONA), but were blocked by hundreds of anti-riot policemen.

Image of Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions
Author: Paul Mason
Publisher: Verso (2012)
Binding: Paperback, 244 pages

From Athens to Rio de Janeiro, from Cairo to Istanbul, tens of thousands of people have hit the streets shouting slogans, defying the police, getting tear gassed and then doing it all again the next day.

It's like the 1960s have gone international.

The BBC's Paul Mason wrote the book "Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions," more than a year ago. 

"Nearly always [there's] a broken economic model that doesn't serve the young," Mason says. "On top of that you've got the ability to organize using the Internet... and a new kind of person -- what I call the 'Jacobin with a laptop' --  that revolutionary-minded person that can't see why the world should be like it is."

In places like Greece, the protests continue even against pretty tough odds. But Mason doesn't see an end in sight.

"What I call it now is the 'Human Spring,'" adds Mason. "It is something going on in people's lack of preparedness to go on accepting not just the economic crisis part of it, but regimes that don't allow them to express their individuality and their choices."

Mason says, "My fear is that until we get some kind of an economic deal that can do that, even if the energy runs out from the protests, you're not going to have a new period of stability."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
Image of Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions
Author: Paul Mason
Publisher: Verso (2012)
Binding: Paperback, 244 pages

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