Tear gas cannot stop it. Not even when fired point blank into the faces of protesters. State censorship is powerless against it. The bloodless prose of the official media cannot encompass it. But what is it?
Each time the movement subsides, the old generation’s commentators declare it dead, overhyped, romanticised in the heat of the moment. But the protests keep coming back. In 1989, we learned that people prefer individual freedom to communism. Today, in many countries, it is capitalism that is associated with cronyism, repressive force and elite politics, and until that changes, this Human Spring looks likely to continue.