The year 2011 has seen the rise of the international youth. The Arab Spring saw young people from Tunisia to Egypt, Oman and Bahrain rising up against authoritarian regimes. The digital literacy of young people enabled protest. As one Egyptian blogger put it: “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world.”

There is no question that the young generation age 18-25 is more tech savvy than any other. Alongside the youth uprisings that have provoked concern from the hearts of the most authoritarian of Middle Eastern regimes, Europe has seen similar action.

Whilst these events and movements may be regarded as bursts of protest energy with no long-term plans to implement change, they point to a wide phenomenon.

The Spanish uprising saw protests across Spain. “Democracia real YA“, the body through which the protests were organised on 15 may, called for “the unemployed, poorly paid, the subcontractors, the precarious, young people…” via Twitter to take protest action.

We saw the 19-year-old Ryan Cleary arrested for being involved with Lulzsec (an organisation which has successfully hacked targets such as the US government and multinational corporations) hacking crimes in June this year.

Whilst these events and movements may be regarded as bursts of protest energy with no long-term plans to implement change, they point to a wide phenomenon.

A unity can be detected in support protests across different countries for the Arab Spring revolutionaries and the Spanish protestors.

Young people across the globe are attempting to take control of their collective political destiny. A unity can be detected in support protests across different countries for the Arab Spring revolutionaries and the Spanish protestors. Lulzsec is a transnational group with no fixed location.

The short-termism pursued by politicians has frustrated young people across the world. These protestors will be the ones inheriting the consequences of our current politicians’ irresponsible short-term policies. These policies range across the political spectrum: from education cuts to freedom of speech.

Perhaps it is time that politicians listened to the generation with the largest stake in humanity’s future?

About The Author

I am a recently graduated history student from the University of Reading. Wanabee journalist and avid blog-reader.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.