CHILDREN OF THE CHILDREN OF 68  -  Tuesday November 30th, 2010

via the Guardian.

Several weeks ago 50,000 students marched through Westminster, protesting the proposed cuts to university funding. On November 24th they took to the streets in even greater force, in more than a dozen cities from Leeds to Dorchester. In London a police van was wrecked, fires started in Whitehall, and “revolution” sprayed in red across the Home Office. Demonstrators occupied university buildings and employed their higher education writing witty panels: In Cambridge one sign proposed “rich parents for all”, another, “what would Dumbledore do?” My favourite was outside the Exeter computer faculty, which simply stated “404: funds not found”.
Officials are calling this Gen Y’s answer to Mai ’68 – perhaps more useful for them than for us. After all, we are the children of the Children of ‘68… the game has changed substantially. In fact, I see this university issue as merely symbolic of a much larger social change. It is the rejection of the label of apathy.
The government is powerless; the opposition is feigning outrage. But, as one British youth eloquently explained in a recent broadcast of Young Voters’ Question Time: “You’re all as bad as each other, how can you honestly tell us you listen to public opinion when the largest anti-war demonstrations in this nation’s history still resulted in illegal war? I marched, tell me you listened to me about Iraq.” Resounding cheers.
I’m not interested in violence, and I don’t believe in revolution – certainly not the good clean kind I see Che advertising on T-shirts. Real social reform takes decades, marked by such tiny milestones that it is often barely noticeable. What I do think is apparent is that this generation, often called the New Millennials, are finding their voices. Let us hope we will soon be free of our crippling apathy.
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