The importance of youth activism

January 29, 2021 - 6:50 PM
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Raised fist
Image by Miguel Bruna via Unsplash

I certainly believe that the strong-minded youth have contributed a greater impact on movements to where it is now and beyond.

This generation has some of the most prominent advocates and  activists for change.

Rallying is not the only way to show that we are making a difference to certain communities and for the country. During these difficult times, however, a tsunami of activism has added purpose to the role of the youth in protests, rallies and campaigns that go beyond the campus.

This past year has really been a tough one to embrace—the violence, pandemic, political turmoil, deprivation of basic human rights, political corruption, abuse of power, unending impunity and everything in between.

It seems like the youths are once again realizing that we will pay for other injustices if we let the authorities take away our freedom daily.

I believe that as a youth, it is our obligation to amplify concerns. Our role is to make changes, particularly on incompetence, poor governance and inequality.

When I stand up to speak, I couldn’t deny that there are eyes casting doubts on me. Somehow, however, things have changed with young people now at the forefront of movements. I guess that is something to be proud of.

There is sense of generational objective, and that is to know where to hold one accountable when things become undeniably wrong.

Some of my family and friends thought I am too young to start caring about these societal issues and be heavily involved. I, however, believe that the younger you are, the better it is to start getting involved.

The present generation of youth has put in huge effort not only to promote and uphold awareness in national concerns, but also to educate themselves about issues at hand. It might be considered risky, but I know it is the right thing to do.

For some, the paradoxes that we are facing might not have instant effect. But, they can still enable unwanted consequences if we do not make a move.

Truth be told, our deep disappointment with government and the current situation left the youth with no choice but to be more eager to traverse the non-traditional methods of making an impact on politics, society and economics, among others.

It is always the young people that have the audacity to complain, to be critical and to challenge some of the greatest issues in our state. But It is also young people that championed equality and justice. And so, it is important that the contribution of youth activism should not only be acknowledged but also be admired.

Despite the apparent injustices and the senseless killings of our fellow critical Filipinos, let us choose to speak and grapple for the rights that we deserve. Educating others and building a better understanding is the key to guiding a movement towards success.

Views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author, Kristian Rivera. He is a 19 year-old advocate of freedom of the press and empowerment who led a youth organization called “The Spectrum.” Rivera reflects on youth activism in this op-ed contribution for Interaksyon.