Millions of teenagers and young adults are searching for their voice and seeking justice in their home countries. Worldwide rebellions are on the rise, spearheaded by politically active, engaged young people.
These young people are putting, not only their lives, but also their families’ lives in danger by defying the government and higher officials. In a stand to find their own voice, young adults and teenagers have gone out in protest in mass amounts chanting, walking through the streets, demanding change, and trying to find their voices within their country.
“They are willing to risk their lives and take a stand,” said Ms. Whitby, an American History and Government and Economics teacher. “They are taking a stand, due to the impact that certain government decisions will have on their future.”
Yulia Marushevska, a recent college graduate from Ukraine, used her voice and courage to spread the word of the ongoing struggles in her country. The protests broke out after President Yanukovych rejected a settlement with the European Union to keep their strong ties with Russia. Yulia spoke up and joined Ben Moses, producer of the 2012 documentary A Whisper to a Roar, to film the short two minute long YouTube video, I Am a Ukrainian, asking for help and exposing to the world what was going on in Ukraine.
“I believe it is in young people’s nature to ‘dream things that never were and ask why not’ while older people often tolerate what is in order to protect their families and their livelihoods. They have more to lose if things go wrong than young people do,” said Ben Moses, Whisper’s creative director, about the youth protesting higher powers.
In many of the protests happening around the world, the young generation often takes up an important role in creating some of its intensity. They are generally highly motivated to speak up because they still believe that anything is possible. More often than not, they don’t have families to look after and be responsible for. The more devoted they are to a cause, the more they are driven by passion.
Many of the protests in Venezuela began as a student mobilization on Venezuela’s National Youth Day (February 12). These students continued protesting against the government, causing national disorder and violence. Initially organized to protest against economic shortages and insecurity, individuals are now calling for President Nicolás Maduro to leave office.
“El pueblo UNIDO jamás será vencido.” “A united people will never be defeated,” chanted Venezuelan American youth in organized protests across Florida. Thousands appeared at these events to grab media attention and to spread the word of the troubles in their country.
“¡Chaves, te juro! Maduro cae por seguro”, “No me da la gana una dictadura a la Cubana”, “Y va a caer esta gobierno va caer.”
And these are just recent uprisings. From the Civil Rights Movement, to the Arab Spring and the 15-M Movement that took over public squares across Spain, young people are most active in political movements.
“They feel that something is wrong and they feel that it’s time to take a stand. It’s great that the younger generation thinks that education is important and necessary,” said Ms. Whitby. Proving, once again, that young people are not apathetic and disinterested. On the contrary, “they understand that civic participation is imperative.”