Radical activism hits most of us at around the ages of 16-18 and pretty much changes how we think for the rest of our lives. Being an 18 year old activist I can tell you it’s not a very easy life calling, but I am not here to talk about me per say. Lately the youth of this country have been more silent then they have been in former years in the mainstream anyway. It seems like overall youth activism is declining, but that activism is instead getting more concentrated.
In Palo Alto a group of youthful activists (most no older that 18) have started an Anarchist Action group there. On May 20, 2005 the group was able to disable the downtown area of Palo Alto with a Reclaim the Streets rally. Anarchist Action is a group of activists focused on direct action in their own communities, but the name is much like Food Not Bombs — anyone with the desire can start one. Right now known anarchist action groups are in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Seattle and Kansas City.
The work youths are doing in Palo Alto and in many cities around the country is a growing phenomena. Instead of idolizing a political leader or some one else’s ideology, more youths are realizing that they hold a new world in their hearts and they can make revolution happen in any place they want to. This country is reaching another threshold of crisis and it is the youth that have the most to lose and in some cases are the most persecuted. Now I’m not talking about your yuppie scum youth that think they are being oppressed just because they can’t have fat free frozen yogurt in the cafeteria. Lower middle class to working class youth are losing their anchor to any cultural background. I feel people need history and culture to hold on to and when what exists loses its relevance, we need to make our own. And that is exactly what is happening — the shunned youth of this country are creating our own history to tell our grandchildren.
Now if you are a youth reading this, or a youth in a grown-up’s body, I’ve found that the key to liberation is realizing that you can make history — and not being afraid. Pretty profound aint it? Think about how you feel about your life. Do you like that you have a job you hate? Do you like that you drive a car that kills the environment everywhere? Do you like the clothes you buy come from people making 3 cents an hour? If you answered no to any of these questions, then welcome to the club! People feel the same way you do, but most people are too afraid to do anything about it. Most would rather let things go they way they are than risk abuse by speaking up. But you, YES YOU, can change that. The minute you decide to stand up for your beliefs and hand out pamphlets and hold up signs, people will join you. So come on, stop reading this paper and get outside, enjoy the sun or the rain and get active. Don’t want for the revolution to come, because the revolution in now in our hands — we just need to start building our new lives before they are taken from us!