Photo: Peter Hapak
A few days ago, it became clear that the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the People’s Choice for Time’s 2011 Person of the Year. According to the ranking of the editors of the magazine, however, the person of the year is the "anonymous protester."
This protester is neither a president, nor a prime minister. This protester is not a scientist with a brilliant mind or a successful businessman, nor a world known movie star. The name of this protester is "anonymous", but his figure is ever closer to all people around the world. From the Arab Spring in the countries in North Africa, through the violent protests in Greece, the movement of discontented in Europe, which started in Spain, the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy City movement in Moscow, where people are protesting against the results of recent elections, the protesters have become central players in world events.
The editors justify their choice with the fact that in 2011, protesters have influenced with their position 3 billion people, which is the number of residents of the countries in which they held their protests. At the same time, the word "protest" appeared repeatedly in the world media more than ever before in human history.
In the case of Greece, however, the protesters have a very unusual ally who has not remained unnoticed by the world media. He is four-legged, brownish in colour and he is hanging around Syntagma Square.
Loukanikos, which means sausage in Greek, does not miss a single protest march in Athens. He is always on the front lines, even during the most violent clashes between police and rebellious. He is otherwise a very peaceful and obedient dog that does not stop barking against the security forces when they put on their masks and spray tear gas against protesters.
"He barks at riot police," "He goes among the group of rebellious," "Loukanikos stands with the protesters, even when they are dodging tear gas and fire bombs."
These are some of the definitions of the magazine that presents Loukanikos to its readers. He has become known worldwide when foreign correspondents saw how he "fought" in the rain of stones and pieces of marble amidst clouds of chemical gas. After a BBC report in June and articles in various publications, Time magazine has decided to honour this unusual participant in the protest and proclaimed him the "dog of 2011."
The magazine published a series of photographs by Greek and foreign photographers, who have captured Loukanikos especially during protests in the area around the square in front of the Greek Parliament.
What is not mentioned in the magazine article is that this particular dog was registered as a stray dog by local authorities in 2006. Many Athenians who see him daily in the square prefer to call him Kanelos because of his typical colour.
See photos of Loukanikos in action here.