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Youth Activism

Montana Youth Turned The Tables And Won An Unprecedented Climate Victory

Over the first eight months of 2023, the catastrophic impacts from climate change have become tangible for millions of people. From massive Canadian wildfires to 100-degree ocean waters off Florida, to a rare hurricane hitting California, the signs of an overheating globe are everywhere. Amid such devastation, youth climate activists in Montana have scored a precedent-setting victory: for the first time in U.S. history a court has ruled young people have the right to a livable climate. In Held v. State of Montana, District Court Judge Kathy Seeley ruled the state must safeguard 16 young plaintiffs’ right to a ​“clean and healthful environment,” which is protected by Montana’s constitution.

Montana Youth Activists Win Historic Climate Change Lawsuit

A Montana court ruled in favor of 16 young people who put their state government on trial in June in the first constitutional climate trial in U.S. history. In an order issued Monday, Judge Kathy Seeley in the First Judicial District Court of Montana found that the state had violated youth plaintiffs’ constitutional rights, including the right to a clean and healthful environment, because of Montana’s pro-fossil fuel policies, which require the state to disregard climate change and greenhouse gas emissions in environmental reviews. “As fires rage in the West, fueled by fossil fuel pollution, today’s ruling in Montana is a game-changer that marks a turning point in this generation’s efforts to save the planet from the devastating effects of human-caused climate chaos,” Julia Olson, chief legal counsel and executive director of Our Children’s Trust, said in a statement.

New Orleans Student Groups Hold ‘Hands Off Niger’ Demonstration

New Orleans, Louisiana - On August 12, New Orleans students and their supporters demonstrated during a 120-degree heat index against the potential U.S. intervention in the West African country of Niger. They gathered on the University of New Orleans campus with the group Students United UNO and chanted under a Nigerien flag and a banner reading “US: Hands off Africa.” Demonstrators passed information handouts to students as they returned to campus on move-in day. The demonstration comes days after Nigerien leaders refused to meet with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and pro-West military forces taking positions around Nigerien borders.

The Unity Of The Youth Of The World

From 28 July to 5 August 1973, eight million people, including 25,600 guests from 140 countries, participated in the 10th World Festival of Youth and Students in East Berlin (German Democratic Republic or DDR). The festival was a key activity organised by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), formed at the World Youth Conference held in London (United Kingdom) in November 1945. The 1973 festival marked an epochal moment: the Vietnamese appeared to be on the march against US forces while, from Mozambique to Cabo Verde, the peoples of Portugal’s African colonies were preparing to seize power, and in Chile the Popular Unity government was in a major struggle against copper multinationals and Washington.

Young People Should Oppose The Kids Online Safety Act

Next week, Congress plans to move a bill forward that is opposed by dozens of organizations, digital rights protectors, LGBTQ+ activists, and human rights defenders: the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA). As we’ve written before, KOSA would lead to censorship and privacy invasions for all social media users. But the most impacted groups will be young people, who the bill purports to help by banishing to a second-class internet. What’s often been left out of the debate over KOSA is how young people feel about this. In fact, many teenagers already oppose the bill. Young TikTok users have been rallying one another to call and email legislators to push back on the bill, and videos describing what’s wrong with KOSA have received hundreds of thousands of views.

How Suing The US Government Can Empower The Climate Movement

In 2015, 21 young Americans, more than half of whom are Black, Indigenous and people of color, began the process of suing the U.S. government. The constitutional climate lawsuit, known as Juliana v. United States, asserts that by creating a national energy system that causes climate change, the executive branch has “violated the youngest generation’s rights to life, liberty and property as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.” In the eight years since the case was filed — spanning the presidencies of Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden — the U.S. Department of Justice has issued numerous motions to delay the case or have it outright dismissed.

Activists Won’t Budge Until Starmer Stops ‘Backsliding’ On Environment

Activists from the group Green New Deal Rising have staged more sit-outs targeting Labour Party MPs. The group has vowed to protest outside their offices every week until the party takes “bold action” on the climate crisis. It follows several instances of what the group describes as Labour “backsliding” on its environment promises – as well as people from the campaign disrupting a speech by Keir Starmer. One of the latest climate-related actions also took place outside the office of Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray. According to the group: Similar protests were also staged in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Brighton, Cardiff and across the Midlands, targeting other members of the Shadow Cabinet.

A New Generation Of Palestinians Has Finally Buried The Ghosts Of The Past

The deadly Israeli invasion of Jenin on July 3 was not a surprise. Also unsurprising is the fact that the killing of 12 Palestinians, wounding of 120 more and the destruction of nearly 80 percent of the Jenin Refugee Camp’s homes and infrastructure will not make an iota of a difference. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, despite his lofty promises of destroying the “safe haven … of the terrorist enclave in Jenin”, must have known that his bloody exercise was ultimately futile. Indeed, as the Israeli military machine was toppling homes, smashing cars and harvesting lives, several Palestinian retaliatory attacks were reported, including in Tel Aviv on July 4 and in the Kedumim illegal settlement on July 6.

Students Sue Idaho Officials To Protect Transgender Youth

Students in the Boise School District have filed a federal lawsuit against Idaho school officials to keep them from enforcing a new law meant to prevent transgender students from using school restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Signed into law by Idaho Gov. Brad Little on March 22, Senate Bill 1100 requires that public schools maintain two separate multi-occupancy restrooms, showers, changing facilities and overnight accommodations for students based on their sex assigned at birth. The law took effect July 1. According to the law, “no person shall enter a multi-occupancy restroom or changing facility that is designated for one sex unless such a person is a member of that sex.”

Youth Climate Activists Turn Up The Heat

On Tuesday, youth-led direct action organization Climate Defiance shut down a 2024 swing state fundraiser at the Harvard Club in New York City, headlined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). The activists were protesting Schumer’s hand in approving the Mountain Valley Pipeline and his ties to the company leading the project, utility giant NextEra Energy. “Schumer, get off it, put people over profit,” chanted the protesters as guests looked around uncomfortably and Schumer walked out of the room. In the three months since it was founded, Climate Defiance has organized high-profile actions.

Young Montana Residents Bring Climate Change Case To Court

A groundbreaking climate change trial will begin on Monday in a courtroom in Montana’s capital city, involving 16 young residents who allege state officials violated their constitutional rights to a healthy environment. Filed in March 2020, the lawsuit, Held v Montana, will mark the first-ever constitutional climate trial in US history. “We’re asking the government and the courts to do their job and protect us, along with the rest of Montana’s citizens and our incredible home state; this case is one big opportunity for the state to become a leader in preserving a safe, beautiful and prosperous future for Montana,” Grace Gibson-Snyder, a 19-year-old plaintiff, said.

Young Leaders From The US Pledge To Fight Blockade Of Cuba

From April 24 to May 3, over 150 young organizers from the United States traveled to Cuba as part of a brigade organized by the International Peoples’ Assembly (IPA) to learn about the Cuban process and stand in solidarity with the island nation against the criminal US blockade. The organizers returned to the US with an even greater commitment to continue building their struggles at home and to fight for the end of the blockade of Cuba. Peoples Dispatch spoke to Phil Agnew of Black Men Build, D’Atra “Dee Dee” Jackson of Black Youth Project 100, Kawenaʻulaokalā Kapahua of Academic Labor United, Lillian House of the Party for Socialism and Liberation...

May Day In Havana: International Solidarity To Resist The US Blockade

This year’s May Day celebration in Cuba was interrupted by severe storms that knocked out electricity in much of the country. Authorities had no choice but to postpone the traditional mass marches. But for over 150 young grassroots organizers from the United States who had traveled to the country to mark the holiday, this turn of events was just more reason to deepen their efforts to end the US-imposed blockade of the country. Miya Tada, a brigade participant from New York, explained how this showed that “the biggest obstacle the Cuban people are facing is the repression and economic warfare of our own government, and that just inspires me to further the struggle against the blockade back in the United States.”

Norway: Youth Demonstrated Against ‘Green Colonialism’

On March 3, the largest civil disobedience action in recent Norwegian history came to an end. 16 Sami activists occupied the lobby of the Oil and Energy Department, and over 1,500 demonstrators attended in Oslo, including around 100 activists partaking in the occupations. Beginning as a single day occupation to spread awareness about the illegal construction of wind turbines on Indigenous land, the demonstration ended as a burgeoning, semi-mass movement. Although the movement forced the current government to meet with movement’s leaders, unfortunately nothing was won; the demonstration ended without the government agreeing to a single demand or concession.

Climate Campaigners Blockade White House Correspondents Dinner

Members of the corporate media were greeted by hundreds of climate action organizers Saturday night as they arrived at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. for the annual White House Correspondents Dinner. Youth-led direct action group Climate Defiance staged a blockade of the event to demand that President Joe Biden fulfill his campaign promise to end fossil fuel extraction on public lands. The protest came weeks after the Biden administration approved Willow, the massive oil drilling project on federal lands in Alaska, and a month after an oil and gas lease sale of 1.6 million acres of offshore waters in the Gulf of Mexico went forward.
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