By Keara Courtney
In the recent NSW election, voters had the difficult option of choosing between the Liberal and Labor parties, both of which advocated more police, prisons and penalties, cutting funding to education and health care, and which are racist, homophobic and sexist.
As a Resistance activist, I supported the Democratic Socialist election campaign. This meant I could pose socialist solutions and expose the bankruptcy of the mainstream parties.
By the time polling day came, I was revved up — ready to distribute election material and to talk to people. I was prepared to face the name-calling of "Red" and "Commie". What I was not prepared for was the questioning of my age and whether or not I had a boyfriend or a job.
The general feeling of the ALP, Liberal party and One Nation pollers was that I was sweet and too young to understand political issues properly. I decided to get on with my job of handing out.
Yet my attention was brought back to the other pollers when one tried to intimidate a 14-year-old, telling him that he could not hand out for one of the political parties. Anyone listening in would have gotten the idea that a 14-year-old is incapable of any form of intelligent thought and resembles something closer to an amoeba than a human being.
This infuriated me, and I went on a tirade defending the high school student's right to participate in politics.
Socialists don't have this judgmental attitude. Anyone under the age of 26 who agrees with our politics can join Resistance — there is no minimum age, unlike other political groups. So don't let older/younger people, friends or your family tell you that you are too young to be political.