The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

The Youth in the Movement:
They Don’t Want a Life-long Sentence to Hard Labor

Oct 25, 2010

Young people have been present, very present, during the great days of protests and in the daily little rallies that are organized everywhere.

Each day, hundreds, even thousands of young people rally before a high school or downtown, often joining demonstrations of striking workers, teachers or railway workers. The students, often organized by the student unions close to the Socialist Party, block the high schools and access roads. They do this with the approval of the majority of the students. Young people then take part in local rallies and regional demonstrations.

Unfortunately, off to the side of these blockages and demonstrations, are deplorable small groups of youth whose goal obviously isn’t to express opposition to the “reform” of Social Security pensions.

These groups snatch some students’ cell phones, smash things, start fires or break windows. The cops take this as a pretext to hurl tear gas, hit harder and harder, pull protesters in for questioning, or simply leave the wounded on the ground.

The youth behind this are obviously not conscious of the brutal society that makes them what they are: individualistic, sexist and proud to belong to a gang. In reality, they play the same games as those in power – the games against which hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have gone into the streets!

But others – high school and college students who think about things – discuss and protest against the attacks by the government and the bosses. They are not deceived about the real battle.

The press quoted a high school student from Hazebrouck, “When I see my father return home, how tired he is, I say to myself, ‘what’s it going to be like for us?’”

Many young people know that the decision to raise the Social Security retirement age is dangerous. For most of them, finding a stable job is a challenge. Most their age face almost 25% unemployment. Many know equally well that the argument of “demographics,” according to which it’s necessary to work longer since people live longer, is a lie. They know that behind this attack on pensions there is a government that serves the rich, and is preparing for more attacks against the working class.

So much the better that they join the movement in bigger and bigger numbers – join with all those who want to make this government and the bosses they serve back down!