As I write, immense protests are taking place in India against the new anti-Muslim law and Hong Kong activists, who have been protesting for their own rights for months, stand in solidarity with the Uighur people being persecuted on the other side of China. The decade will end in protest. But who can look back a decade when a week in Trump time is like a century, and hardly anyone can remember the overstuffed chaos of the month before, let alone 2017, to say nothing of the remote era before he was president?
Seriously, people keep forgetting what came before, which is why they fail to recognise patterns, consequences and the real power of movements. For instance, the wave of feminism called #MeToo is often treated as a sudden eruption out of nowhere when in fact it came out of a very specific somewhere: a ferocious upsurge of global feminism over the past decade that had been spawning news, protests, hashtags and action about feminism before #MeToo in 2017. That upsurge was itself the culmination of feminist analysis and action for decades before. All that happened in October of 2017 was that movie stars got involved.