We keep saying “it’s our future” yet we don’t go to the protests
Recently, my parents attended a talk, ‘Brexit – What’s next?‘, hosted by Leeds for Europe (my mum’s summary can be found on their page here and on Facebook and is worth a read for inspiration to keep protesting against “Brexit”). My parents’ only complaint was the distinct lack of students – in Leeds! You physically can’t move for the number of students in Leeds and yet the talk was packed full of middle aged to older (the people who supposedly “screwed over the younger generations”) people. I know not everyone can go, I couldn’t, but it’s more than just one meeting. I’m part of Facebook groups which are anti-“Brexit” and they are primarily made up of middle aged adults. When I helped organise ‘One Day Without Us Leeds‘, I was the only student who went to meetings, and the day was a success but was attended mostly by adults over 30 and parents with young children. Most of the people I follow, who follow me and I interact with on Twitter regarding “Brexit” are over the age of 30.
It’s great and it’s wonderful – we need the adults who have voted and can vote to turn up to these events and to making a fuss on social media as the government is more likely to listen to its voters. That shouldn’t deter protesters, however. 16 and 17 years olds didn’t get to vote, when they should have been allowed to; protesting is their way to have their say. Those who were too young to vote, the same can be said for you – it is your future “Brexit” impacts, you should be trying to have your voice heard.*
What really gets me though, is that it’s young people, my friends/age group, who were devastated on 24th June and many took to social media to post ‘memes’ and pictures like this:
Where are you now? Why are the people who were so outraged in June, who posted and tweeted their anger, no longer angry? Why are you angry when I talk to you about it but not when you could attend a protest?
I get even more angry when I attend anti-Trump protests and there is an abundance of students. Trump and “Brexit” are symptoms of the same global problem. If you can turnout to protest against Trump, then you should be able to go and protest against “Brexit.” Trump is bad and I will protest against him coming to the UK, but his policies do not directly effect us; “Brexit” does. Why are the young more capable of attending rallies against Trump but are apathetic towards anti-“Brexit” rallies?
We are the generation who stand to lose the most if the UK leaves the EU:
- We will lose out on Erasmus
- We will lose our freedom of movement, and the opportunities that brings for us socially and economically
- The human rights we stand to lose
- The way Mrs May is promising to make the UK a tax haven with low wages will hit us the most
You must come protest against this. You must be the ones to flood social media with pictures and slogans for and from march/protests/demonstrations. Social media is mainly for the young and yet is is the older generations who are using it to get the message across.
If you are young and against “Brexit”, please join us this Saturday for the March for Europe.
If you don’t know how to get there, Leeds for Europe will have a direct bus to the march’s starting point – tickets can be bought here (and there is a discount for students)- other cities are doing a similar thing; do a quick Google search.
The march itself
More information can be found about the march on the Facebook page (You don’t need tickets; it’s a protest, just turn up.), the Twitter feed and the website. There is an abundance of information and it is very clear on everything when and where the march will be (Saturday 25th March 2017, 11 am, Park Lane, London).
I hope that we see more students turn up. Students were prominent and essential to Civil Rights, Pride, anti-war and nuclear protests for decades, where has that spirit gone? Come on Saturday, you’ve still got time to make arrangements and find friends to go with. There is no excuse. If you care about your future, you will find a way to attend.
*All efforts have been made to ensure the protest is safe and peaceful, with many parents taking their young children, as they have at previous Brexit marches, but looking after your safety is essential, so if under 16 years olds do attend, especially, please go with an adult. No one should ever go to a march or demonstration without at least one other person and another person not attending knowing your whereabouts but this is very important if you are young. You can hope all you want that a protest will remain peaceful – and previous Brexit protests have been very safe and peaceful – but you never know who might turn up to oppose the peaceful protest.