Today’s youth, the so-called millennials, face a bleak future under capitalism. They carry the highest student debt in history and have entered “adulthood” at a time when housing prices have skyrocketed and the labor market has imploded. More than half of recent graduates are unemployed or underemployed, often in low-wage jobs having nothing to do with their degrees. Nonetheless, they must make monthly payments on an average of $20,000 in student loans.
The 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident has brought into focus the history of Canada’s immigration policy. The anniversary of this mass deportation has been marked by coverage and specials in the mainstream press, by statements from politicians, as well as remembrance ceremonies, particularly in the Sikh-Canadian community.
The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has gone certifiably viral. Countless videos showing people dousing themselves with buckets of ice water have flooded social media. Everyone from GW Bush to Will Smith to Britney Spears to your next-door neighbor to half your High School classmates are joining in the late-summer antics and nominating someone else to do it. If the challenge is not met within 24 hours, the nominee is supposed to donate to the ALS Association. Some people donate no matter what. Others donate to non-ALS charities. Others just want to have a bit of fun. In theory, this is all being done to “raise awareness about ALS.” As a result of this campaign, an estimated 740,000 people have donated $42 million to the ALS Association since June 29. But what does it all mean? Is “raising awareness” enough? Do most people even know what ALS is? Is this really a way to “create a world without ALS”?
As the protests in Ferguson, MO, enter their 12th day, following the shooting of Michael Brown by local police, the Workers International League (US section of the IMT) continues to intervene in this spontaneous upsurge, in Ferguson itself, and on the campuses in the area. These events mark a qualitative turning point in the class struggle in the United States. It is already being recognized as an event for which there will be a “before” and an “after,” even by the talking heads in the media and the representatives of the capitalist political establishment.
Leaflet for demonstrations against police repression in Ferguson, MO can be downloaded here.
The shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, followed by the breaking up of a protest march by police in riot gear and dogs, has let loose the pent-up anger and frustration of black youth in the otherwise quiet working class St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, which saw a night of looting and vandalism. These events above all show that huge pressures are building up in US society, just one scratch below the surface.
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