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'The Protester' Is 'Time' Magazine's Person Of The Year

"The protester" has been named Time magazine's person of the year, it was just announced on NBC-TV's The Today Show and on Time's website.

That covers, most notably of course, those who went to the streets in the Arab Spring movement that swept across much of North Africa and the Middle East.

But as Time writes, protesters have also had major impacts in Greece, Spain, the U.K. and — via the Occupy Wall Street movement — the United states.

"These are folks who are changing history already and will change the future," Time editor Richard Stengel said on Today.

Others who were considered included: Adm. William McCraven, head of U.S. special operations, because of the killing of Osama bin Laden; Chinese artist Ai Weiwei; Kate Middleton, the possible future queen of England; and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the "most influential American politician" because of his work on deficit reduction.

Update at 7:55 a.m. ET. More From Stengel:

"For capturing and highlighting a global sense of restless promise, for upending governments and conventional wisdom, for combining the oldest of techniques with the newest of technologies to shine a light on human dignity and, finally, for steering the planet on a more democratic though sometimes more dangerous path for the 21st century, the Protester is Time's 2011 Person of the Year," Stengel says in a statement that was just emailed to reporters.

And here's a question:

(Note: that's not a scientific survey. It's a question meant to spark discussion.)

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