Time mag’s annual “Person of the Year” is The Protester this time around. The image by Street artist Shepard Fairey is of Sarah Mason, a member of Occupy LA, and a resident of Highland Park. Fairey took Mason’s photo during a November 17th protest outside the Bank of America tower in the financial district.
At that action, she was was arrested with dozens of others. Plus Mason was present when LA cops moved in and cleared the Occupy LA camp outside City Hall less than two weeks later. She told a reporter that she left the park at City Hall because she didn’t want to risk another arrest. She was upset that she had walked away from her protesting companions and was angry at the city for closing the camp.
The mainstream media reported that another protester Scott Shuster, a friend of Mason, said she was surprised and a little embarrassed to see her picture on the cover of Time.
Shuster said she had earned the honor for her work at Occupy, where she is known as a consensus builder who once taught police how to participate in the protest’s nightly general assembly meeting. Shuster said Occupy helped Mason grow politically and personally. “She found her voice,” he said, and then paused. “I’m probably not the best person to ask, though. I’ve had a crush on her since the moment I met her.”
The Protester was chosen to acknowledge the political upheavals in Egypt, Greece, and across the US in the Occupy Wall Street movement.