2011 was a year of global tumult, marked by widespread social and political uprisings, economic crises, and a great deal more. We saw the fall of multiple dictators, welcomed a new country (South Sudan), witnessed our planet’s population grow to 7 billion, and watched in horror as Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear disaster. From the Arab Spring to Los Indignados to Occupy Wall Street, citizens around the world took to the streets in massive numbers, protesting against governments and financial institutions, risking arrest, injury, and in some cases their lives. Collected here is Part 3 of a three-part photo summary of the last year, covering 2011’s first several months.
Above: Bloodied Former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi is seen in this still image taken from video footage in Sirte, Libya, on October 20, 2011. Qaddafi was killed as Libya’s new leaders declared they had overrun the last bastion of his long rule, sparking wild celebrations that eight months of war was finally over. NATO aircraft had fired on a convoy of vehicles carrying Qaddafi and other loyalists, damaging and destroying several vehicles. Qaddafi escaped the airstrike, but was soon captured alive by rebel forces on the ground, who found him hiding in a drainage pipe. Multiple videos and photos showed the former dictator bleeding and being roughly handled. Shortly after, he was dead - the exact circumstance of his death remains uncertain. His body was put on display for the public to view in a freezer in Misrata for several days afterward. He was then buried in an undisclosed location in the desert. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori)
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