Twenty-Five years ago, the youth of China rose to demand democracy and freedom from the Communist Party government, but their protests were violently quelled by China's People's Liberation Army(PLA). Thousands of young people were either killed, injured, jailed or disappeared. The 89' Democracy Movement will stand as a sad testament as to the brutality governments are capable of exacting upon their youths in order to derail and to defer the aspirations and the ambitions of young people.
Youth is the vanguard of all change in society and to deny and to defer their concerns and their aspirations, is to deny a participation in government of those who will be the future government. And those governments who attempt and who accomplish such feats are repressive and weak, thus overtime, society eventually pays an enormous price for such denials and deferrals.
Today, from Ukraine to Taiwan; from Venezuela to Haiti; from Turkey to Colombia to Chile, youth are standing to demand attention to matters that they have deemed important to their futures.
Turkey...Turkish youth took to the streets recently in protest of their government's intent to curtail the Internet. The artistic youth from Istanbul to Ankara in vast numbers made their objections known and so far, Turkish courts have recognized the legitimacy of a free people's rights to access of information and knowledge.
Taiwan...Concern that the Communist Beijing government would have too big a control over the island's economic future, Taiwanese youth recently stormed and occupied the legislature in Taipei to protest an economic pact with mainland China. Students eventually withdrew from the legislature after winning concessions that the trade pact would be reviewed to ensure the survival of Taiwan's business interest weighted against Chinese impact. Also, Taiwan's youth have temporarily forced a work stoppage of construction on a nuclear power plant on the island which they believe bring safety risks. Students are demanding safeguards of all nuclear plants Taiwan wants to construct.
Haiti...Secondary School students on the Caribbean isle have clashed with national police as youth protest to demand the Haitian government respond to their striking teachers' demands for a raise in pay and better working conditions. Schools across Haiti have been closed for the past week when teachers went on strike. Students are afraid they would not be able to take their scheduled exams. Police have used tear gas against the students, but protests continue to force the government to solve the strike.
Colombia...Colombian youth in total solidarity with an ongoing national agrarian strike have clashed with police in Bogota. Students at Universidad Nacional continue to brave tear-gas-throwing police as they demonstrate in support of Colombia's agricultural workers.
Chile...Tens of thousands of Chilean youth have risen in protest demanding implementation of President Michelle Bachelet's education reforms that were promised as deep changes as the president took office.
Venezuela...Venezuelan youth are regrouping this morning for the next phase of their protests against high crime and critical shortages in their country. Four student protest camps were destroyed by President Maduro's security forces and some 200 students arrested in early dawn raids upon the students.
Ukraine...Tens of thousands of youth stood on the Maidan in Kiev to demonstrate their desires to be closer to the European Union and not Russia. Today, they still cling to their aspirations despite Russian menacing.
Wherever it maybe in the World, youth - students, are rising in increasing numbers to secure and to demand a say into their futures in their respective lands. So as the 25th anniversary of the '89 Democracy Movement approaches in China on June 4, other World's youth, 25 years later, are still standing in defiance of their leaders; and they are demanding full considerations of the protection of their futures.
What could we expect in the future? Youth will become increasingly aware of the forthcoming dangers posed by global warming and its effects; youth will rise and demand greater actions by governments for their adulthood will become the ones most impacted by climate change. Additional, youth will continue their quests for basic freedoms and for the respect of common human dignity.