Youth Take the Lead Against Violence in America
The massacre that occurred February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has unleashed a youth-led national movement against violence across America. On March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shootings, more than a million students walked out of schools across the country under the banner, Enough! Ten days later students led more than 800,000 people in the March for Our Lives! at the nation’s capitol in Washington, D.C., to protest against the Trump administration and the U.S. congress for their inaction on the issue of gun control and against the growing culture of violence in America. Hundreds of thousands of others joined student-led protests in more than 700 cities and towns across the U.S., and at 100 additional locations in 37 other countries around the world. The student-led National School Walkout Day April 20 commemorated the anniversary date of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 with over 2700 protests around the country.
The mass shooting on February 14 in Parkland killed 17 and injured 15 others. Of those killed, 14 were high school students ranging in age from 14 to 18 years, a teacher, the school’s athletic director, and a football coach. In the past 19 years since Columbine, there have been nearly 200 shootings at primary and secondary schools in 36 states across the nation, leaving 129 dead and another 255 injured. These school shootings represent one example of the many forms of violence that are spreading across America.
Since 2015 more than 3000 civilians in the United States have been killed by the police and other law enforcement agency personnel. The mass detentions and deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants is another form of violence. The millions of homeless left destitute on the streets of America is violent. The lead poisoning of water systems across America is violent. The denial of healthcare to millions in need is violent. The destruction of the environment is violent. U.S. military personnel stationed in 800 bases around the world is violent. The U.S. military engaged in never-ending wars around the globe is violent. In short, the ruling class of America is violent. The U.S. ruling class has developed a culture of violence in America. And as the economy worsens, if the rulers get their way, they will to get more violent at home and abroad.
The Trump administration has proposed the arming of teachers and other school personnel as a solution to prevent school shootings. This means more guns in schools. In March, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law such a provision, which is part of legislation that also raises the age to 21 years old from 18 years old to purchase guns, a ban of bump stocks that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire faster, and other provisions that include mental health regulations. Parkland students’ top demand is to ban all assault weapons, which is not included in the new Florida law.
In the wake of the Parkland shootings, some members of Congress and some state legislators across the country have paid lip service to the issue of gun violence, while others have turned a deaf ear. Their refusal to act against the growing culture of violence comes as no surprise, given that these lawmakers are the frontline, corporate legislative protectors of ruling class private property interests. These corporate lawmakers are opposed by an increasing mass of people who are fighting for a humane society, those putting forward a program for social change to protect the quality of life and the general welfare of humanity. The tens of millions who are struggling every day to simply survive are a central part of this rising moral force in America today.
Across the country millions of young people are building a movement to teach about the immorality of the gun violence they see around them. They are demanding it be declared a public health crisis. They are meeting with each other and are beginning to connect the immorality of indiscriminate police murder of people in the streets with indiscriminate murder of students in classrooms. However, they are unifying not only against the culture of gun violence. They are also uniting across color and cultural lines to protect human life, and for the morality and the future of humanity. They are making their voices heard with independent political demands. And with this message they are influencing the American people as whole.
Young people, full of energy, idealism and a strong sense of purpose, have always been at the heart of making social change. Today, young people are fighting to secure a peaceful future for themselves and society as a whole. They are becoming increasingly open to new ideas based on the peaceful ideals and morality of socialism and communism. Guided by strong moral convictions, they are engaging the ruling class in a political struggle to end America’s culture of violence. They are developing a deeper understanding and awareness about who is denying them the future they seek. In doing so, our young people are stepping up and providing leadership inside of the objective revolutionary process that is unfolding throughout society today.
May/June 2018 Vol28.Ed3
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011