Gen Z is fighting back

April 9, 2024
young people call for ceasefire now
Young people have been joining the weekly marches in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Young people are fighting back. From the student strike movement, to speaking up about Palestine and marching on Invasion Day, Generation Z are taking action to address the failures of our society.

I am 17 years old. I used to wake up, go to school, go home, sit on my phone and go to sleep.

But as I explored my interest in writing poetry and begun researching colonialism, feminism and the climate crisis, I realised there was so much that needed to be done.

Now I debate colonial views at school, write about protest laws in legal studies classes, research Aboriginal spirituality and have joined up with the local climate activists in Rising Tide.

There is so much to learn that feeds back into my poetry. My process is to read and write and read and write.

I feel centered in the climate movement, knowing I am doing what I can to fight for systematic change along with thousands of my peers.

But I still feel great distress, anger and fear about my future and the future of the planet.

Some older people look to my generation as a source of hope of change to come, which is understandable.

But sometimes I do not feel hopeful and resent being a source of hope.

Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful there is a space for my generation to be heard within the climate movement.

But the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock has never been closer to midnight, to global catastrophe.

It is currently at 90 seconds to midnight. When it was created in 1947 it was set at 7 minutes to midnight.

Nearly all of my friends are feeling this threat of imminent disaster, whether it be climate catastrophe, artificial intelligence or nuclear warfare.

Many of us are not sure we should have children in such an uncertain world.

Young people want to take action, not because we are “lovely human beings” (as an older activist once told me), but because we want to make change, instead of promoting the latest TikTok trends.

We can no longer sit by and doom scroll through social media posts of our Palestinian siblings with missing limbs, First Nations children being zip tied and countless other tragedies.

As Greta Thunberg said: “I am one of the lucky ones.”

I will fight for our generation to be heard.

Hear us and know that we want a future. Not just for us but for future generations. The fight isn’t over. It has just begun.

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