It is undeniable that young people have had a central part in the modern environmentalist movement. But something we don’t see discussed very often is the role youth liberation plays in it and why is so important to its success. To find out, we decided to ask our friends at Full Stop Affinity, a youth liberation anarchist environmentalist affinity group that organises under the Green Anti-capitalist Front and the Youth Liberation Front. This is what they wrote.
The environment will collapse before some of us reach our thirties. Our future has been stolen from us by the state. Children are an oppressed group and we will fight for our freedom. Older generations repeatedly look down on us and presume we know nothing. Parents and guardians treat us like property, censoring what we say, stopping us from acting.
Youth liberation is necessary. We must be free. The state repeatedly tries to fuck us around, turn us into a statistic. Keep us preoccupied so we can’t see the murder and devastation they cause. But we see it. We will not surrender to the state. We may not believe the revolution will happen but we will continue to fight because it’s the right thing to do.
Older generations have repeatedly shown that they don’t care about climate change. They know they’ll be dead before it becomes devastating. And they don’t want us young people changing how they have to live or, in their words, “inconveniencing” them. We the young people have no future. We must fight for our liberation, like any oppressed group.
Climate change affects us. Climate change will kill us. We refuse to go without a fight. In the last year, we the young people have scared the shit out of the state with demos and direct action. It’s important our older comrades do not try to control us, or police us, in our fight for freedom.
Youth liberation is especially important to the climate movement as we are the ones that will suffer. We are the ones that are acting. We don’t mean “acting” as in the same sense as XRY, or even the youth strikes. We are taking direct action against our oppressors. Gluing and chaining ourselves to roads and fences while relying on state empathy will get us nowhere. A to B marches will get us nowhere. Only chaos will change things.
For too long older people have been made the face of the climate movement, with liberal groups pushing an image of older people, grandparents, to the front of their activism. You aren’t fighting for your grandchildren’s future by submitting yourself to the state. Only complete insurrectionist action will cause change. Punch the enemy, do not rely on their empathy. We are the climate movement, not grandparents who chant “police we love you. We’re doing this for your children”.
Corporations know their actions are unjust, they rely on the compliance of the people and this is why we, the youth, pose such a threat. It’s a time where values are experimented with, boundaries are broken and it signifies the end of relying on our oppressors for sympathy. This, along with the youths ability to begin organising independently, combine to make young people such a genuine threat to climate-massacring corporations and the oppressive structures they rely on.
Youth comes with an aspect of autonomy, which many other social groups lack. This is why the established system views young people as such a threat. We have a crucial role in acting for social change and we will fulfil it.
No matter how much they try to force and control us, there is no place for us in the state hierarchy and therefore their ideas of correctness. We can’t be placed in a section. This is why youth movements and youth themselves are so often belittled and put down by media and corporations and tried to be controlled by schools and classrooms; because by its very nature, youth works against the states ideas of hierarchy and control. This is why in movements such as the climate movement, which heavily relies on youth liberation, is important as its existence works against the hierarchies the movements desire and need to remove.
Young people are a determining dynamic force. All throughout history, exploited youth fight against the state and those who oppress them and encourage the people around them to do the same.
Smash the state. Set fire to the prisons. From the streets to the schools, remain ungovernable!
– Full Stop Affinity / FSA