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{Young}ist’s Two Minutes in Solidarity with the Dream Defenders and #OurMarch

By {Young}ist Editorial Board


As {Young}ist reported last week, three young people—Alayna Eagle Shield, Sofia Campos and Phillip Agnew—were cut from the speaking list at the anniversary of the March on Washington. All this week, young people have been responding by posting their own two minute videos of what they would have said if they had been able to speak at the march and how they feel about the state of America today.

Following the march, Phillip Agnew—Executive Director of the Dream Defenders—shared the two minutes he wasn’t able to share with the crowd last wednesday including a call to action for young people to share their own message with the American public:

The {Young}ist editorial board was so moved by Agnew’s video that we decided to share our own two minutes (see above).

In case you missed the whole ordeal, here are our top five favorite responses to #OurMarch to catch you up:

{Young}ist editorial board video transcript:

My name is Izzy. My name is Muna. My name is Queen. We are the editors of {Young} and we stand with the Dream Defenders. This is our two minutes.

We are the youth of this generation, coming of age in a post-9/11 world—housed now in overcrowded apartments, prison cells, university dorms, ICE detention centers and our parents basements—looking uncomfortably at the world we inherit.

Martin Luther King Jr. described the great three evils of militarism, materialism and racism—and we feel strongly that we must add another evil to this list: patriarchy. We recognize that each of these evils feeds on the others, and that they cannot be extricated from one another. To dismantle one, we must do the work of dismantling the system.

From Assata Shakur to Chelsea Manning, revolutionaries and whistleblowers alike are exposing the United States government as a perpetrator of terror at home and abroad.

Families are being split apart, entire communities are being subject to profiling, harassment, and surveillance while loved ones are torn away by Immigration and Control Enforcement in the form of deportations and mass incarceration.

Young Black and Brown people are as afraid of the police as they are of the gun violence that permeates their neighborhoods.

Paired with the gutting and closures of public schools, third grade test scores are being used to estimate the amount of beds needed to fill privately-owned prison cells. These are high stakes, indeed.

Young queer and trans* people are the largest growing population of homeless youth. And you can still be fired for your sexual orientation in 29 states and for your gender identity in 34.

Meanwhile, workers are gasping for breath, unable to support themselves, let alone their families with multiple, precarious jobs, making a minimum wage that puts them below the poverty line.

Big money drowns out the people’s ballot, as powerful lobbies loom over Washington from the Koch-backed ALEC to the NRA.

And because corporations dictate truth in our media, these stories are rarely ever told — and when they are — our struggles are misrepresented.

The story we hear today about the movement is not reflective of the committed, long-sighted vision of justice that Ella Baker, Stokely Carmichael, or Septima Clark had. It is not fair to the struggles of Yuri Kochiyama, Leonard Peltier, and Sylvia Rivera.These people were freedom fighters, and the freedoms they won us were just that: fought for.

Young people today are asserting our own call, offering solutions in the form of grassroots, bottom-up organizations fighting for transformative, justice-oriented goals. Young organizers like the Dream 9 and the Dream Defenders are taking inspired direct actions to counter the systemic challenges in their communities. They have a vision for what a just world looks like, and a strategy to get us there together.

Now is the time to recommit ourselves to community, to justice. Now is the time to unite to engage all of our struggles and build coalitions, because that is when we are most powerful. Together. Our liberation will be collective. We’re here to tell the story.

We ready. We coming.

To keep updated on #OurMarch follow the conversation on Twitter.

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{Young}ist Editorial Board






September 07, 2013

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