Throughout history, young people have often been in the forefront of struggles for social change. The enthusiasm and energy of young people engaging in political protest can inspire and give confidence to the wider population. That is why Resistance is a socialist youth organisation. We know that it will take ordinary working people of all ages to change society, but by being part of a youth organisation young people have the space to develop confidence as political activists and to help lead others in struggle.
'System change not climate change'
One of the biggest threats facing us today is the possibility of runaway climate change.
A November 17 report released by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, painted a bleak picture of a future effected by global warming: with rising sea levels forcing millions of people from their homes and escalating hunger and food shortages as a result of extreme droughts, floods, fires and storms.
This is the sort of world that we will inherit if we don't take action now.
As public awareness about the dangers of climate change grow, so does the potential to take action, to help spark a social movement strong enough to make the sort of changes that are necessary to ensure our planet has a future.
Recently, high school students in Tasmania led the way by walking out of class in their hundreds to protest the environmentally destructive Gunns pulp mill, and Resistance helped build contingents of radical youth at the Walk Against Warming rallies in November.
In 2008, Resistance will continue to campaign for real action on climate change, and to work with other groups to build the movement. There needs to be resistance to climate change on every front — coal-fired power plants, which are the most dirty form of electricity generation; uranium mining, which take huge amounts of power and water, and nuclear power, the only form of energy generation directly linked to weapons of mass destruction.
An important forum for discussion around this question will be the Green Left Weekly's "Climate change — social change" conference in Sydney in April. This conference will have international guests including John Bellamy Foster, author of Marx's Ecology and Roberto Perez who has been instrumental in the development of organic, local agriculture in Cuba — the only country in the world with 100% sustainable agriculture. This conference will be a chance for environmentalists from all over Australia to come together to discuss all the important issues relating to climate change.
'No racism, no war'
Combating climate change is not the only campaign that Resistance is involved in. March 2008 will mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. More and more people are coming to the conclusion that the war is fundamentally wrong. The Rudd government has made a promise to withdraw 550 combat troops from Iraq by mid-2008, but there will still be nearly 1000 Australian troops remaining as part of the Iraqi operation, and there has been no commitment to withdrawing Australian troops from Afghanistan.
Protests against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are being organised for March 16-18 next year and Resistance will be building these protests on high schools, universities and in workplaces. Through continuing to campaign around the US-led war in Iraq and Afghanistan, anti-war activists are helping to change public opinion and creating potential for the anti-war movement to pose a real challenge to the imperialist agenda that puts the need for oil profits and military dominance ahead of the lives of millions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
'Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land!'
When the Howard government used the pretext of child abuse to impose martial law on Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, the Labor party supported the move. This intervention has not addressed any of the underlying problems of poverty and marginalisation in Indigenous communities: it has, however, curtailed the right of the traditional owners to decide what happens to their land. This has removed one of the biggest blocks to the expansion of mining in the NT.
On January 26, Resistance will take part in Invasion Day protests around the country to show that there is opposition to the racist intervention into the Northern Territory and that there are Indigenous and non-Indigenous people willing to campaign for the rights of Aboriginal people.
Unfuck the world! Get active!
Resistance is open to all young people (aged 26 and under) and is made up of students, workers and unemployed people. We think that a better world is possible, a world that is not being destroyed by war, environmental catastrophe, racism, sexism, homophobia and exploitation. We think that a better, socialist world is possible, and we organise, educate and campaign to that end.
It's not enough to realise there is a problem, we need to take action to solve it. Make 2008 a year of radical protest. Join Resistance!