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A youth’s opinion can be a hell of a weapon. I’ve been a student in California’s public school system for nearly 13 years, and I have seen the mighty powers of the teenage voice. Protests, rallies, walkouts, and sit-ins are all effective in their goals to gain attention from the people who hold power. They have also proven that the youth are active in the politics that revolve around our lives and help drive the community to the direction the young people desire. The youth are the future of this nation and their voices are strong and powerful. Through the youth’s voice, we can guarantee that the nation isn’t brought down by decisions that affect the future negatively. They must use their freedom of expression to continue the democratic process, and to prove to the older generation that they deserve a say in the future of their nation.
Rallies and protests have always been a major part of my educational process, and I sometimes consider it as one of the most important lessons I learned through school. I soon became aware about the power of the youth’s voice even before I learned how to add and subtract. Through time, I witnessed the importance of why the youth should stand up because their voices are significant and people will listen to them the most. I also realized that wherever I went, the strength of the youth’s assembly was unstoppable. Living in the Philippines, I used to attend school 3 blocks away from the Nation’s Capital, and rallies and demonstrations were an inevitable part of daily life. It quickly amazed me how such teens from high school to college were the main people involved in these protests. As an immature, naïve child, I began to wonder why these young people would take part in such risky demonstrations and why it was so important for their voices to be heard. I realized that these young adult’s actions were effective, and they were being noticed. Obviously these protestors were doing something right. Other people were starting to become affected because the police and the media almost always showed up. More obviously, someone felt that these young people’s voices were too strong, motivating and intimidating. The opposition felt that they had to intervene and use methods to dissipate the strong demonstrator groups. Sometimes these youthful activists would be met with the riot control officers who sprayed the protestors with strong water and sometimes beat them until they stopped with their rally, regardless of how peaceful their protests were. It was true that the voices of these young protestors were being heard and acknowledged, but the motivation and dedication that these protestors had were clearly unstoppable. These young protestors knew that by making a stand, their opinions were being recognized. The youth should continue to make a stand because their attempts at change are more spirited and motivated, unlike older people.
After living in the Philippines for seven years, I moved to California. A noticeable difference was how peaceful the activist demonstrations are in America compared to the Philippines. What became more apparent was the similarity of the democratic process and of the young people’s movement on speaking out their opinions. A few years passed, and I entered middle school. After being part of the California public education system for a lengthy four years, I began to notice the decline in the economy compared to the first time I attended a school in the state. I began to realize that the decline in the economy negatively affected the school district I attended. A call for reform was inevitable, and once again the youth assembled. Working with the teachers and school staff, students took part in protests that they hoped would bring the school district extra economic assistance, allowing the schools to provide the students with classes that would benefit their future. It was my first time being a part of a protest instead of being a spectator, and I quickly noticed the unity within the group because of their determination to achieve the same goal. I quickly became aware that these groups were stronger than I expected because of their unity and inspiration. It was the strength of the coalition that scared the opposition in the Philippines because they knew that these groups were too determined to achieve their goals. These protestors wouldn’t give up because they’re speaking out for their future and the future of the whole community. The voice of the youth is significant because it can change the direction of a government to how they want their future to be. The importance of these protests are not simply to gain the attention of the higher powers, but also to drive the community to follow the way the youth wants. In most cases, such as my school district’s Student/Staff walkout, the community agrees, because they realize that the youth who protest will be the ones in charge of the community one day. In other cases, the community disagrees because they’re unable to accept the change of generation, which also comes with a change of beliefs. This is evident in the Philippines and how the opposition groups, mainly consisting of older people, treated the young protestors. The opposition dislikes the idea of the transformation of power and difference of ideals and wants to prevent change from occurring. Regardless of the results, the youth continued their expression of their opinion and demands because their ideas would be heard somehow. Despite the immediate actions taken towards the youth’s stand, their opinions wouldn’t become unnoticed. These youthful protestors, with their new ideas, disapprove with the opposition, and, even if their protests become unsuccessful, they find other means to get their voices heard. Expression of ideas should continue because speaking out about ideas is an effective way to get results.
The voice of the youth shouldn’t stop after protests and demonstrations. Young people have shown that their voices can be heard through the counts of ballots. Young voters have increased throughout the generations and show that the youth has an increasing interest in politics because of their motivation for a better future. Through voting, the youth “speaks out” by supporting their beliefs. This was apparent as most younger voters have chosen to side with the Democrats, and in the outcome of the 2008 Presidential Elections, their nominee became the winner. They continue to fight for their cause by selecting their ideas and beliefs out of all of the other options. One more vote for their cause is an achievement because it proves their strength in unity and determination. At the end of the day, win or lose, the reassurance of fighting for the cause satisfies everyone.
The voice of the youth will continue to be heard, and will echo within the community. Their ideas will be passed on to newer generations, where the new youth would apply their own beliefs. The cycle is necessary for a healthy democracy, and helps prevent a one-sided argument. The way the youth expresses their beliefs shows their determination to achieve a better future, and guarantees that when the younger generation becomes the main people who hold the offices, their peers will agree. Also, it guarantees that the future run by the current generation of youth won’t have the same errors as the past. The youth must keep fighting, and must keep their voices loud enough for those who disagree to hear. It is important for the younger people to speak out and express their opinions because their ideas are fresh, and will move the community soon enough. The new generation is here, and we’re not going to allow our future be decided without a fight.
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Woke up to this in the morning. “Smoking Rollin’ reefer up, I adjust the tweakers up, break it break it down, break it down so I can beat it up.” #np (Taken with instagram)