By Julia Olson and Phillip Gregory for Our Children’s Trust – While risk-management issues related to climate change are important to the New York Attorney General’s investigation, attorneys representing youth plaintiffs suspect the emails will also reveal the deep influence of the fossil fuel defendants over U.S. energy and climate policies, and the defendants’ private acknowledgement that climate change was caused by their product, both of which are important to the youth’s case. To the latter point, the fossil fuel defendants have refused to take a position on whether climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels, even when pressed by federal judges to answer that question.
By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight. During a CNN Town Hall, Democratic House Rep Nancy Pelosi was caught off guard when a young man told her that more than half of Millennials aren’t exactly fans of capitalism. He had the stats to back it up: A Spring 2016 Harvard Institute of Politics poll of 3,000 Millennials found that 51 percent of them held this view. It’s no surprise this many Millennials shun capitalism given their massive student loan debts and difficulty in finding high paying jobs and affordable housing, among other struggles. But when he asked her if Dems could go farther left of right-wing views on capitalism, Pelosi’s reply only proves that her party needs to acknowledge how capitalism is destroying the world and its future if they want any hope of appealing to what could become one of the largest voting blocs in America. Lee Camp digs into Pelosi’s faux pas and more on the latest episode of Redacted Tonight.
By Semih for CMOY WRI – Young peoples’ experiences of the military, and exposure to militarist values, differ around the world. In this webinar, we will gather examples from two countries, Israel and Germany, and discuss with activists about their campaigns and strategies to counter youth militarisation in their own contexts. Join us in this webinar to hear from Michael Schulze von Glaßer from DFG-VK (Germany), and Elisheva Gavra and Gilad Ben David from New Profile (Israel) on their ongoing projects and campaigns.
By Aviva Shen for Think Progress. A video of Security Resource Officer Ben Fields yanking a teenage girl from her desk and throwing her across the room shocked the internet and inspired investigations into South Carolina’s use of police in schools. But on Friday, after 11 months of investigating, prosecutors announced they would not be pursuing criminal charges against the officer. Fields was fired in October for his conduct, which the sheriff said at the time made him “want to throw up.” About 100 students at Spring Valley High protested his firing. Other students had reportedly nicknamed him “Officer Slam,” because he had a reputation for violence.
By Staff of Educational Alchemy – I said it over three years ago and I’ll say it again. Common Core was, and is, an agenda crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It was never about “communism,” or “socialism.” It was the state and federal governments serving as the delivery boys for the privatization of public education at the hands of global corporate interests (think: Trans Pacific Partnership and UNESCO).
By Rebecca Nathanson for VICE. aymond Rodriguez doesn’t remember why his dad was arrested. He doesn’t even remember exactly how old he was when police officers entered the home he shared with his parents and two siblings in the Bronx, threw his dad on the floor, and took him away. Now a 20-year-old criminal justice student at a local community college, he thinks he was about eight years old when that scene took place, but the memories blur together. Following that arrest, Rodriguez’s dad remained incarcerated for the majority of his childhood, in and out of prison numerous times. Rodriguez lived with a foster family for a while when he was younger, but then his mom regained custody of him and his two siblings. Whenever his father got out, he’d find where the family was living and move back in, until the cycle began again. The impact it had on the family was far-reaching and comprehensive, and it continues today.
By Amanda Bent for Alternet. Last week was exciting for folks (nerds?) like me who are interested in the public health implications of marijuana policy reform, especially those of us in Colorado. With the long-awaited release of the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, we got an updated snapshot of how youth in the state are responding to implementation of Amendment 64. This ballot initiative victory legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults in 2012, allowing those 21 or older to purchase it when it became available in retail stores starting in January of 2014. Opponents of this groundbreaking reform continued to harbor concerns over the past few years that it would lead to a drastic spike in marijuana use among young people. Using data from the 2013 version of the Healthy Kids survey as a baseline, however, we can see that such fears remain unfounded and unrealized.
By Robert J. Burrowes. Australia – Deeply affected by the death of my two uncles in World War II, on 1 July 1966, the 24th anniversary of the ‘USS Sturgeon’ sinking of the Japanese prisoner-of-war ship ‘Montevideo Maru’ which killed the man after whom I am named, I decided that I would devote my life to working out why human beings are violent and then developing a strategy to end it. The good news about this commitment was that it was made when I was nearly 14 so, it seemed, anything was possible. Now I am not so sure. Here is my report on 50 years of concerted effort to understand and end human violence. In 1966 one of my immediate preoccupations was war. The US genocidal war on Vietnam was raging and, as a sycophantic ally of the United States, Australia had been drawn into it some years previously. Trying to understand what this war was really about was challenging, particularly given the limited (mainstream) sources of information available to me at the time.
By Staff of Not One More Deportation – Ireri Unzueta Carrasco is an educator, gardener, daughter and sister. Since 2010 when immigrant youth first came out of the shadows, she’s been part of the push of undocumented people struggling for civil and human rights. Now she is suing USCIS, the agency within the Department of Homeland Security that approves deferred action, to challenge its punishing decision to deny her daca renewal. The agency says that her involvement in the political protests that moved the President to create the deportation relief program is grounds to reject her application on “public safety” concerns.
By John W. Whitehead for The Rutherford Institute – Those coming of age today will face some of the greatest obstacles ever encountered by young people. They will find themselves overtaxed and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. Their privacy will be eviscerated by the surveillance state. They will be the subjects of a military empire constantly waging war against shadowy enemies and on guard against domestic acts of terrorism, blowback against military occupations in foreign lands. And they will find government agents armed to the teeth ready and able to lock down the country at a moment’s notice.
By Medea Benjamin for CODEPINK – One concrete outcome that President Obama could pursue on his visit to Saudi Arabia is saving the lives of three Shia youth sentenced to be executed, most likely by beheading, for participating in nonviolent protests. Sparing their lives could also help ease the Shia/Sunni tensions that have engulfed the region. Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon, and Abdullah al-Zaher are members of the minority Shia community that has, for decades, been demanding equality and full civil rights.
By Joseph Stiglitz for Project Syndicate. Today, the expectations of young people, wherever they are in the income distribution, are the opposite. They face job insecurity throughout their lives. On average, many college graduates will search for months before they find a job – often only after having taken one or two unpaid internships. And they count themselves lucky, because they know that their poorer counterparts, some of whom did better in school, cannot afford to spend a year or two without income, and do not have the connections to get an internship in the first place. Today’s young university graduates are burdened with debt – the poorer they are, the more they owe. So they do not ask what job they would like; they simply ask what job will enable them to pay their college loans, which often will burden them for 20 years or more.
By Rebecca Nathanson for YES! Magazine – Snow covered most of the ground at El Garden, a community garden in the north Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. The exception was the area around its three compost bins, shoveled out and made accessible to the six people who were working there. One of them was Gabrielle Mason. She wore a puffy pink jacket and kept her earbuds in while she scooped and sifted the bins’ contents. A year ago, she had never composted. Now, at 16 years old, she is the group’s lead composter and plans to study environmental issues.
By Frank Rotering for No More Illusions – This is the last in a series of three posts that explore the plight of the young with respect to the ecological crisis. In my first post I characterized the crisis as overshoot, which refers to the concurrent violation of multiple environmental impact limits. I said that the rational response is rapid impact reduction, which entails the drastic curtailment of economic activities and sharp increases in ecological efficiencies. I also noted that, because the old have refused to act on this basis, the quality of life for the young will soon be severely degraded, and premature deaths are a looming possibility.