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Youth Activism

How Kenya’s Youth, Middle Classes And Working Poor Joined Forces

I remember Kenya’s June 25 protests like they were yesterday. The energy on the streets of Nairobi was frenetic, filled with the sound of whistles, motorcycle honks, vuvuzelas (long horns used to cheer in soccer games) and loud blasts of teargas. “We are tired,” chanted the thousands of demonstrators who had turned out to oppose government plans to introduce wide-ranging tax hikes, on what would become the bloodiest day of the protests. Hoisting up Kenyan flags, they marched through one of the city’s main avenues, which was colored pink from water cannon spray, dodging rounds of rubber bullets and teargas.

Generation Z Is At The Forefront Of A Powerful Uprising In Kenya

Youth in Kenya are rising up in the face of extreme repression. Mass protests began spreading rapidly in response to President William Ruto’s attempt to pass a tax bill. The bill would have raised taxes on household essentials including sugar and cooking oil in compliance with austerity measures that the government is trying to implement in order to receive a loan from the predatory International Monetary Fund (IMF). In response, young Kenyans, proudly identifying as “Generation Z,” have organized a mass movement online. For now, this uprising is developing independently of Kenya’s traditional parties and institutions which would benefit from co-opting the movement out of the streets.

Kenya Protests: Gen Z Shows The Power Of Digital Activism

This is a powerful moment for digital activism. The protests have seen significant participation from young Kenyans who are using digital media to organise and voice their opposition. A great number of those driving the protests are Generation Z (often referred to as Gen Z) – individuals born roughly between the late 1990s and early 2010s and characterised by digital prowess and social consciousness. They have created this organic, grassroots movement which has used platforms, like social media, to mobilise and coordinate efforts quickly. Through my work I’ve documented how essential digital media has been in political participation in Kenya in the past decade.

Hawaii To Decarbonize Transportation In Youth Climate Change Settlement

On Thursday, Hawaii agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by 13 young people alleging the state had violated their constitutional rights with infrastructure that adds to greenhouse (GHG) emissions, exacerbating climate change. In the settlement, the state agreed to decarbonize its transportation system by 2045. At a news conference, Governor of Hawaii Josh Green, a Democrat, called the settlement “groundbreaking,” reported Reuters. “We’re addressing the impacts of climate change today, and needless to say, this is a priority because we know now that climate change is here,” Green said, as Reuters reported. “It is not something that we’re considering in an abstract way in the future.”

Should Children Take Part In Nonviolent Struggle?

In fifth grade I was introduced to children as nonviolent warriors. In one of our elementary school’s story collections I ran into a tale from the Norwegian resistance to Nazi German occupation during World War II. It was centered on the problem of preventing Norway’s store of gold bullion from falling into the hands of the occupiers. The first step was moving the gold to storehouses on farms in Norway’s mountainous western coast. The next step — of getting the gold on ships to Britain, where the country’s royal family had already fled — was going to be a lot harder due to the patrols of German warships.

Time’s Up For The Government To Stop Israel Arms Exports

Youth Demand is a recently-formed direct action group. It not only focuses on the climate crisis, but has also be taking action over Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. For example, Palestine Action and Youth Demand teamed up to paint the MoD headquarters in London, while other supporters marched through the capital, on Wednesday 10 April. They were demanding an end to the MoD contracts with Israel’s largest weapons firm, Elbit Systems and an end to all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK, including revoking oil and gas licences issued since 2021.

Alaska Youth On The ‘Front Lines Of The Climate Crisis’ Sue To Stop LNG Pipeline

Eight young people from Alaska are suing their state government, claiming a major new North Slope natural gas project is in violation of their constitutional rights.

Youth Are Calling For Free Public Transit Across British Columbia

Public transportation is woven into the fabric of daily lives for teens. For many, it’s the bridge between home, school and extracurricular activities. What if public transit for youth was a public good? The Transit for Teens campaign aims to make that a reality across British Columbia. We are members of the Transit for Teens youth leadership coalition with the Centre for Family Equity, and we’re raising awareness in the lead-up to the provincial election this fall about how free transit is a globally tested approach that can meet climate, social inclusion and health goals here in B.C.

Suspended Columbia Student Activist Speaks Out

On Wednesday, April 3, Columbia University suspended six students, including a Palestinian student and two Jewish students. These suspensions came two nights after students were visited at their homes by private investigators hired by Columbia. The investigators also sent threatening emails to leaders of Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), a coalition fighting to compel Columbia to divest all its economic and academic stakes from Israeli apartheid. The emails pressured the group to cancel a rally on April 4 for Al-Shifa Hospital, organized with Student Workers of Columbia (SWC).

International Indigenous Youth Council Banned From Powwow For Advocating For Palestine

Denver, Colorado — Youth representing the International Indigenous Youth Council’s (IIYC) Oglala Lakota Chapter were told they would be banned from attending the 48th Annual Denver March Powwow if they demonstrated solidarity with Palestine. It's one of the first documented instances where pro-Palestinian messages were prohibited at a Native American cultural event. The International Indigenous Youth Council’s (IIYC) Oglala Lakota Chapter published a statement on its Instagram Saturday afternoon: “Denver March tried to shut youth down, we will not be silenced.

Six Lessons For Climate Activists In Turbulent Times

Not many eras in modern U.S. history have been as turbulent for activists as the last 18 months. Grassroots organizers have had to contend with a lingering pandemic, increasingly unstable geopolitics and signs that Earth’s ecological systems are finally paying us back for decades of abuse. For the climate movement in particular, it’s been a confusing time with unprecedented wins juxtaposed against a backdrop of worsening planetary crises. I had the chance to reflect deeply on these realities while preparing an updated edition of “Movement Makers: How Young Activists Upended the Politics of Climate Change” — a book that distills inspirational moments and lessons from more than two decades of youth-led climate organizing in the United States.

How We Move Forward Together: The Rank And File Project

Most major advances toward a more equal and just society come about because organized working people use their power to disrupt capitalist profits. And we think that’s the only force that can ultimately end capitalist exploitation and establish a truly democratic society. For that reason, many on the Left see labor unions as essential to making radical change. But unions today are often top-down and undemocratic in structure, weak, defensive and even conservative in their politics. The labor movement lacks a coherent, organized left-wing leadership that could help re-found the movement on a democratic, class-struggle basis.

Greek Students Hit The Streets For Protests Against Private Universities

For the third consecutive week, Greek student and youth groups and other progressive sections hit the streets, denouncing the conservative New Democracy (ND) government’s bid to open private universities. On Thursday, January 25, massive protest rallies were held in more than 40 cities, including Athens. Tens of thousands of students from coordination committees, and members of the Students’ Struggle Front (MAS), Panspoudastiki KS, Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), parents’ associations, teachers’ unions, and university workers demanded that the government scrap the proposed bill.

High School Journalists Are Fighting Back Against Censorship

From book bans to anti-critical race theory laws adopted by 28 states, youth censorship is increasingly becoming an issue in U.S. high schools, especially for young journalists. Students say school newspapers are one of the few outlets high schoolers have to report on their communities and that limiting what they can write about directly immobilizes their voices. “[Administrative censorship] firmly says that youth expression should only be at the discretion of the adults in their environment,” said McGlauthon Fleming IV, a high school student from Midlothian, Texas. Despite Tinker v. Des Moines, the historic 1969 SCOTUS ruling that states neither students nor teachers “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” student censorship finds a loophole in the precedent set by Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier case.

100,000 Expected To Take Pro-Palestine Demands To Biden’s Doorstep

A coalition of Muslim and pro-Palestine organizations are taking the overwhelmingly popular demand for a ceasefire straight to Biden’s doorstep on January 13, at 1 pm, at the Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. The “March for Gaza” is being organized by the American Muslim Task Force on Palestine, which includes American Muslims for Palestine, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Circle of North America, Muslim American Society, Muslim Student Association-National, Muslim Legal Fund of America, Muslim Ummah of North America, and Young Muslims, alongside the ANSWER Coalition, which played a key role in organizing the largest pro-Palestine demonstration in US history on November 4.
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