Enter the Radical Youth

Sean McKeown

Can you picture a collection of anarchists, liberals, socialists, and hippies all protesting together in one angry family? Well this isn’t that.

The protest started on September 17 in Tahrir Square in lower Manhattan and quickly spread throughout the country. Soon after that I heard the radio host I listen to most, Michael Graham, rant on about how horrible this is. How their behavior is inappropriate, or how Mayor Menino panders to their every wish.

All that may be true to some degree.

The first time I saw these people was when I went to Philadelphia for a cousin’s wedding, Columbus Day weekend. I drove through the city that night and noticed some young people chanting on the side of the street. They were the Occupy Philly protesters. The next morning they stormed the property where the Liberty Bell is located. A large amount of cops, likely more than the amount we have in Franklin, stood on the property waiting for more trouble from the protesters.

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to see the Occupy Boston protesters march right past me. I stood in awe as well over a hundred people chanted, “This is what Democracy looks like!” after a guy on a bullhorn yelled “What does Democracy look like?!” They were on their way to the Boston Common and I was scrambling to run back up to the front of the group and snap a picture.

The image would have showed a man approximately in his 30s with a bullhorn inciting the group. You would see a young woman standing next to him with a sign that said “We want Democracy!” with an Anarchy symbol after it. It’s similar to the image I had in my head before I became educated on the movement. Does this lady know what she’s talking about?

Democracy and anarchy are two completely different things. That lady also could in no way be an anarchist because if she was, she wouldn’t be there. Organizing is contradictory to the meaning.

Once you look beyond the few weirdoes and wannabes, you can see something special. It’s a group of people that actually care. The demographic is primarily unemployed college grads. A group of people that haven’t shown much interest in politics for a while now.

I’ve been saying for years, I don’t like old people… running our country. We need the younger people speaking up for what they want. I’m happy to see that.

Be it Libertarian, Republican, Democratic, or Socialist values, we need people caring.

Occupy Franklin High…Anyone?