The Year in Youth Activism

Because most media have occupied themselves with Bush’s doggedness in the War on Terrorism and its related subjects this last year, activism has received even less press than it usually does. But WireTap’s review of the year in youth activism shows that for every government measure that supported the national interest over that of human rights, there have been groups speaking loudly and clearly about their consequences–and doing all in their power to prevent them from happening.

The writers posit that, while the events of the year “have combined to make many young people feel that dissent is not welcome,” many have ignored the pressure to remain silent. A few examples from WireTap’s timeline of events and activists’ response: While diehard initiatives such as the Patriot Act made it seem as though anti-terrorist extremism was unstoppable, students across the country rationally educated the populace with leaflets. Hundreds traveled to New York in protest of the World Economic Forum. Listen Inc. held a national meeting attended by more than 200 young people “dedicated to leadership and organizing to share strategies and talk about the anticipated effect that Sept. 11 will have on youth organizing.”

And many more on different levels have been fighting against discrimination, threats to civil liberties, and other issues that badly needed checks. The writers acknowledge that their list is by no means complete, and encourage others to contribute stories of resistance that even nonmainstream media have failed to pick up.
–Julie Madsen
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