After my little introduction to my country’s recent history in the last post, I want to continue on the topic that actually brought me to write all that. Im sorry about expanding so much, but I just felt most people wouldn’t get what I was talking about if I didn’t first clarify some things.
Well, from 2003 onwards, Argentina entered a time of growth of it’s economy, as well of it’s cultural and political activity. This mainly means, politics were no longer taken so lightly, as a question of mockery, but more as what it really means: the events, people, and decisions that actually lead a country. The relationship between the state, and the people.
But, what happens when this applies to the young ones as well? I’m seventeen years old, yet I’ve been aware of politics in my surroundings since years ago, and been discussing, and performing it ever since I entered secondary school.
And, when the adults seem to be bothered by this? Well, this is my question.
What do you think of political activity in young people?
Personally, being active in politic debates, knowing about my country’s actuality, fighting for my rights and for what I wanted, were all things that helped me grow up, get to know and express myself better, as well as to know other interesting people. But, in my experience, I’ve also bumped into people who could even be labelled as ‘fanatics’ of a particular party, and that were blinded by the message they were fooled with, only to loose sight of their reality and surroundings. I’m clarifying it wasn’t usually like that, but this is what most grown ups seem to think when they see militancy from our part.
In 2010, the youth’s political movement in Buenos Aires began to grow anew, as the governor of this, the country’s capital city, started neglecting all the public institutions in it -and keeps on doing so to the day, but that’s another topic. Public schools, hospitals, and institutions here are usually the most prestigious and well known, but also the less attended by the state; specially when it represents neo-liberal ideologies, like with the actual governor.
So, when the conditions in the public schools of the city became critical, to the point where the lack of structural care endangered our very lifes, we decided to take action. And man, did we rock that ‘taking action’ part, or what?
More than 300 schools in the whole city were ‘taken’ by their students, wich meant not leaving the school under any circumstances, sleeping, eating, living there, and also interrupting classes, until the state agreeded to listen to our demands. Some ‘takes’ lasted over a month! In my school, we maintained it for more than two weeks. It was really an exhausting task to accomplish, as there wasn’t any gas for the building’s heating (one of our many demands), among other very uncomfortable situations.
At some point, the city’s government had to listen to us. I dont think you can imagine how we felt, honestly. It was a mix of satisfaction, group accomplishment… Know that feeling after you finish a raid in your favorite MMORPG? Well, multiply it by ten thousand, and there you have it, more or less.
It was really awesome.
After that happened, our student’s center (the organization of students for their representation in and outside the school, covering their demands, their political point) grew a lot, and a lot of people started frequenting it more and more.
I was already my class’ representative at the center, but my participation became more evident.
An year after, I was being elected president of the center. And so I was, until May this year, when new elections were held, and the boy from two years under me that accompanied my time as president, and that learned with my party, was elected president himself.
Now a days, I’m seriously considering following my path as a politician in my country, to become maybe a legislator, maybe something else, and representative the people there.
As you can see, in my experience, politics were the door to get to know another part of myself (I was the friggin’ president), and to understand the world and my country better as well. And I’m sure it was like that for many people my age who went through similar experiences.
So, why is it that I hear adults everywhere talk about how a person my age’s only obligation is to study, and that political activity is a way for the system to use us, and that I will most likely, and for my own sake, forget about all this when I grow up?
Seriously? Is that what they really think?
I most certainly HOPE I’m still fighting and debating for what I think it’s right when I’m their age, and haven’t became someone with no dreams nor aspirations like them.
The people I and many other admire, were people who believed they were doing the right thing, and defended their ideals against everything, until the very end. I want to become someone like that.
Political activity is what keeps the people of the world moving. Every person who ever attended a manifestation to defend their rights or demands, did politics. Every person who ever debated about what they thought was right or wrong, did politics. Every person who ever read the newspaper to keep actualized about their reality, did politics.
I did politics. And keep on doing so. And I’m proud of that aspect of myself.
So, what do you think? Do you agree, or do you disagree with me? Why? Do you think politics aren’t a subject suited for young people like me? Or do you approve and encourage this activity? Or maybe you have another point of view?
I’d love to read about it in the comments -seriously though, comment darn it!
Well, thank your for reading, and mostly, for your patience.