‘’There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.’’ Leonard Cohen, Anthem, 1992.
There is an extreme energy emerging among young people right now with recent events around the world calling politics, power and collective values into question. Many young people no longer see themselves represented by those in power. In fact, it seems that over the past few dizzying weeks, political actions have been taken that directly oppose their values.
Rallying cries for a truer reflection of our common humanity manifests in the idea of young global citizens, demanding a new quest for equality and shared human values in political policy and societies around the world. A grassroots movement (and some good old-fashioned sign making), is emerging in the name of social inclusion. This week, The Youth Lab investigates - what actually is the New Resistance?
It’s Female Driven
The offensive line of The New Resistance is female. 2017’s Women’s March, perhaps the largest protest in history, took place last month on streets across the US, with over 600 sister marches mirroring its might around the world. The march itself was born out of a global movement for equality and acceptance - ‘Women’s Rights are Human Rights.’ Young voices spread this message to demand justices for wide ranging goals- against sexual assault and for reproductive rights and gender justice. Popular placards read: ‘Girls Just Wanna Have FUN-damental Rights’ or ‘Grab Him by the First Amendment.’ You can dig deeper into #WhyWeMarch here.
Iconic pink ‘pussy hats’ now don the covers of Time Magazine and The New Yorker. Next up? Another Global Women’s March is planned, while closer to home REPEAL activists are staging a strike if a referendum isn’t called. Both are scheduled on March 8th, International Women’s Day.
The digital age has brought its challenges, as the youth question the validity of online content. This has ignited an uprising against those that exploit the immediate nature of youth news consumption. While Facebook is making steps to tackle this, there are still people blatantly ignoring established facts, such as global warming. The New Resistance is calling out this ignorance, in search of authenticity and meaningful dialogues that better serve people’s needs and reflect societal truths. Scientists are now mobilising a ‘March for Science’ to enforce wider acknowledgment for the climate crisis and mobilise a resistance to broader attacks on truth itself.
However, the digital age has also changed the face of youth activism for the better, providing powerful platforms where movements rise at the push of a button. Young activists are armed with smartphones - ready to spread their voices further than ever before. Digital platforms provide a new space for inspiring creativity to help fuel movements. Check out Thinkhouse’s ‘Youth Still Own The Art’, Project Repeal’s ‘We Face This Land’ or MILCK’s ‘I Can’t Keep Quiet’ (the unofficial anthem of the Women’s March).
It’s Contagious & Creative
New Resistance creatives are standing up for these causes (bow-down to Vivienne Westwood’s club night at Fabric in aid of climate justice and Ecotricity). In the wake of Trump’s immigration ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries, we are seeing brands match the outrage of their consumers, declaring their indignation. In response, Starbucks announced their commitment to hire 10,000 refugees: ‘These uncertain times call for different measures and communication tools than we have used in the past.’ Similarly, Ben & Jerry’s asked fans to sign the online petition calling leaders around the world to denounce the policy.
Ultimately, it’s about Unity
Human rights are not for an individual, they’re for everybody and their protection is the mission of the New Resistance. Driven by unified outrage, in pursuit of something larger than ourselves, they resist policies intended to divide and promote inclusivity by focusing on things that unite us all, rather than what may drive us apart.
Pay attention, but be sensitive: Listen to what young people care about, and if it’s in line with your brand values, let them know you care about it too. However, take heed to the sensitivity of the situation and know when it is right to be heard.
Get creative and don’t jump on a bandwagon: We all know there are important issues to get behind and injustices happening all around the world, but what are you going to do differently to add value?
Take heed to revelations of the heart and refuse to accept injustices. Remember that we are all human. Make. Noise.