Youth activist profiles

 

Jelly

Hi, I’m Jelly I like to introduce myself as a musician and activist.

I started getting involved with the Global Justice Youth network because I was new to London and looking to get involved in activism or volunteering, especially around immigrant and refugee rights. I found out about the first meeting by chance, went along and haven’t looked back since.

As I’ve come to realise the number of structural problems there are in the world sustaining inequality, what shocks me more is that so many people remain inactive. To get engaged again young people need to feel like they can shape their own futures again. We wanted to make sure that the youth network provides that space and so I’ve spent the last year working alongside the other youth activists making sure that it puts youth voices in the centre of Global Justice Now’s decision making.

 As our network is quite new and eager to support a wide range of causes, in the early days we went along to protests organised by different groups, such as the #Muslimban demonstration organised by the Stop Trump Coalition, or surrounding Yarlswood with Movement for Justice. It was great to get inspired by other groups’ actions as well as having some people to go with. We’ve held several “theatrical activism” stunts, such as holding a funeral for democracy outside the Southbank centre to raise awareness of CETA – we all wore veils and pretended to be sobbing while actually we were cracking up laughing. We a

lso organised a national gathering called We Rise which was incredible, and my protest music band, The Dream Jazz Collective, played at the afterparty!

 

Gabe

I’m Gabe. I’m a theatre student at the University of York. I’ve always been a passionate campaigner on the environment and combatting climate change but until the last year I was never really directly involved in activism. I went to marches but was never involved in any specific group or anything. 

That was until last November when I became involved with Global Justice Now. At university, I had struggled to find anything to get involved with in terms of activism so in a desperate search I came across the details of Ed, one of the Youth Network’s coordinators. After contacting him, he then put me in contact with a couple of others and from there York Global Justice Now was founded as a youth network group with the grand total of 3 members!

Since our founding, York Global Justice Now has organised many different actions. This has ranged from a couple of film screenings to dropping a 20 metre banner reading ‘Build Bridges Not Walls’ on Trump’s inauguration in the centre of York. Recently we’ve organised the protest ‘End Barclays Dirty Deals’ to call for an end in their fracking and arms investments, which has been pretty successful as Barclays have said they will drop such investments in fracking! Right now, me and the rest of the group are focusing our attention on the election and getting people out to vote with a fair few leaflets. 

 

Anoushka

Hi, I am Anoushka and I’m just finishing my Geography degree in Falmouth, Cornwall. Despite its beauty, Falmouth can feel rather isolated and

disconnected from politics and so establishing a Youth Network group aimed to address the lack of activist groups in the local area has been really important. In the past, I have been involved with campaigns surrounding social-environmental justice issues in Cornwall; campaigning for local food access, holding an ‘independent state’ simulation, taking action against marine pollution, and running a fossil-free divestment campaign. 

In 2015, I travelled to the Paris climate change conference demonstrations with GJN, and shortly after organised a talk by Ed Lewis, from GJN, to discuss the significant threats posed by the infamous TTIP deal. Since establishing the Falmouth Youth Network, much of our activism has been channelled towards addressing issues concerning migration as numerous members of the student and local community feel strongly about the topic. Campaign efforts have thus far included: a film screening and discussion of the documentary Precarious Trajectories, communicating the first-hand experiences of refugees crossing to Europe; an interactive training workshop on ‘How to have difficult conversations’ led by Tom Godwin from the anti-fascist charity HOPE not Hate. This was a hugely successful event which involved collaborating not only with HNH but also a local organisation working to tackle hate crime.

I am currently volunteering for the Refugee Community Kitchen in Calais providing food to refugees and migrants living in and around Northern France. In the current political climate, the brave and honest work that the RCK team is nothing short of activism.

 

Josefine

Originally from Germany and having lived in France and South Africa, I moved to London in September 2016 to study Politics and International Relations at SOAS. 

I have been involved in activism for several years serving as a regional student representative, taking part in a conversation project for refugees initiated by the University of Bremen, leading workshops on feminism and advising the regional gender equality agency, supporting a housing project of people with disabilities and organising with different activist groups. Being committed to anti-fascism, I have also been a guide at Bunker Valentin, a site of Nazi forced labour, and a European exhibition on resistance to fascism in the 20th century.

To organise, I like setting up new projects and sharing knowledge through events, discussions or workshops. I also admire the work of radical community-organising groups like Black Lives Matter UK, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, Sisters Uncut and Take Back The City. I want to focus more on reaching out to people who have been marginalised and disenchanted with politics and contribute to postcolonial, feminist and environmental systemic alternatives.

In London, I have been involved in supporting immigration detainees and refugees struggling to make this city their new home. I was a participant of Demand the Impossible, an introductory course to activism and radical politics, and co-facilitated events on mental health under capitalism and alternative futures. The GJN youth network has been an amazing space to create new actions, like our anti-CETA protest play piece, to engage with diverse activist groups and work on collaborative projects on all kinds of topics.