The role of the youth in the fight for socialism
10 May 2018
The following speech was delivered to the ICFI’s May Day 2018 International Online Rally by Genevieve Leigh, a leading member of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in the US.
The first half of this year been characterized by an upsurge of working-class struggles all over the world: against austerity in Iran; by technology workers in China; and a wave of strikes and rebellions by teachers and lecturers in Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia, Mexico and across the US.
In all of these struggles, young workers and students have played an active role. In Iran, unemployed youth predominated in the demonstrations in rural towns. Students in the US organized demonstrations in support of their teachers. And over a million young people in the US and around the world held massive internationally coordinated demonstrations against school violence. Their march in Washington was the largest in history.
Genevieve Leigh speaking at the 2018 International May Day rally
While the Democratic Party in the US fought tooth and nail to make the protests about gun control reform, much broader issues drew a million youth to the streets. There is a widespread sense among young people that the ease and frequency with which they are massacred in American schools is symptomatic of the indifference and contempt with which the country’s ruling oligarchy regards their lives.
This new generation of the working class is becoming politicized, and in a time unlike any in history.
What are the conditions of young people today? Those born at the turn of the century have lived their entire lives watching the imperialist powers wage wars of aggression in every corner of the globe. The war in Afghanistan has…