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Kalle Lasn

Kalle Lasn “did not invent the anger” behind the Occupy Wall Street protests, said William Yardley in The New York Times. “But he did brand it.” The founder and editor of the anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters has spent “much of his career skewering corporate America.” As a former market researcher, he knows the value of messaging, but he didn’t imagine that the Twitter hashtag he helped create in July—#OccupyWallStreet—­would trigger a global movement. “This is what Adbusters has done for the past 20 years,” he says. “To come up with these memes and to propagate them.”

The 69-year-old Estonian-born Canadian, who lives on a farm outside Vancouver, can’t remember whether he or a colleague first came up with the idea of an encampment in lower Manhattan, said Mattathias Schwartz in The New Yorker. But this year’s Egyptian protests inspired Adbusters to write in June that  “America needs its own Tahrir.” Lasn encouraged the campers in Zuccotti Park to zero in on a clear message, just as the protesters in Cairo had done, and was disappointed when no single demand materialized. But he sees more “opportunity than defeat” in the protesters’ eviction from Zuccotti. “The chessboard has been overturned,” Lasn says, “and now a new game begins!”

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