Welcome to 2nd edition of THE YOUNG ACTIVIST - a newsletter that explores the terrain of global youth-led activism curated by ActionAid’s Global Platforms. Through our global network we seek to support and connect young people, organisations and movements fighting for social justice. To do this, we need to constantly interpret what is going on around the world – also beyond our own network.

THE YOUNG ACTIVIST is intended to be a guide for this exploration, providing a short selection of sounds, images and writing, that can hopefully inspire reflections and discussions on the changing battlefield for youth-led activism.

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Until next time - be brave and look out for each other.

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// Water is a human right - repression is a crime. Unfortunately the Ortega regime in Nicaragua has got it completely mixed up. Two weeks ago Nicaraguan police detained 16 people for attempting to bring water to a church, where a group of mothers to political prisoners were hunger striking. The activists are now accused of transporting weapons and planning terrorist attacks (!). Unfortunately, this is far from a first for the Ortega government. Peaceful protest have been met with with extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests and detentions since the outbreak of protests in April 2018. While the UN calls for "end to the repression" and EU are demanding the immediate release of the 16 activists, water has now become a symbol of struggle and resistanc in NicarAGUA ✊
// Who is defending the defenders? It has never been more important to defend the environment, but at the same time it has never been more dangerous. Governments and companies around the world continues to silence the people standing up against mining, logging, agribusiness and hydro projects. Each week three environmental activists are killed - often with complete impunity. One of the most dangerous countries to be on natures side is Brazil, where the indigenous forest guard Paulo Paulino Gaujajara was ambushed this month while protecting the Amazon from illegal loggers.
// Uganda slams thousands of NGOs. More than 12.000 organisations have been stripped of their charity status in what activist fear is yet another gagging exercise to silence the voices of critical citizens. In 2016, the Ugandan government introduced a new law that tightened the rules for NGOs, establishing an NGO Bureau with powers to blacklist, suspend, or revoke the permits of any organisation. Which led to police raids of ActionAid offices and the freezing of it's bank accounts for several months. However these attacks also served to reinvigorate their work for social justice.
// Are young people driving a global revolt against inequality?
"It is as if hundreds of thousands of solitary people had discovered at the same time, after an endless hibernation, that they were not alone. Not alone in watching helplessly as the leaders of their communities robbed their destinies, not alone in losing their jobs, studying for nothing, or not having the means to do so, not alone in starving, not alone in feeling humiliated," writes Dominique Eddé from Libanon. Perhaps this is what is happening all around us? The fearless and furious protestors from Haiti to Iran, might share more than just outfit and tactics.
// Igniting the cradle of neoliberalism. Since the military dictatorship of Pinochet, Chile has been a lab for free market experiments, with lax taxation of companies and mass privatization of public services including education, where fees have skyrocketed leading to a world record in university dropouts. The current protest was prompted by students rejecting a new increase in public transport, but soon became a much broader youth-led movement fighting the rampant inequality. After weeks of protest the politicians have conceded that the constitution of the dictatorship has got to go.
// People powered superheroes. Millions of people flooded the streets during the latest wave of youth-led global protest from the climate movement. Due to the unrest in Chile, the COP25 scheduled to take place in Santiago in the beginning of December has been moved to Madrid. But deep in the Amazon the Brazilian organisation Instituto Socioambiental are organising their very own summit, bringing indigenous groups, climate strikers and youth activists from Extinction Rebellion together to conspire for the defense of Mother Earth. ActionAid are also taking part in the mobilizations around the globe, sparking reflections on our role in this historic movement building process.
// The success of a protest depends on who is doing the protesting. Current debates on the recent rise of authoritarian populists may point the finger at the working classes — but research investigating all major mass protest movements 1900-2016 suggests that the industrial workers have been the most crucial to the historical progress of democracy.
// Fancy an instructive manifesto for a new revolutionary movement for autonomy? Inhabit is a collectively and anonymously written strategy emerging from a network of autonomous projects across North America. It brings together diverse strands of thinking, activism, and hands-on experimentation into a radical vision in keeping with our tumultuous times. They believe revolution must be built from the ground up, and that it starts by making another way of life possible. Check it out.
// Artistic resistance in Central America. The Biennale in Resistance has been reclaiming public spaces in Guatemala to spark community dialogues on the various forms of structural violence and inequality that young people are facing. By showcasing art not merely as decoration for the elite but rather as a vehicle for forming identity and communities and engaging in ongoing and open-ended reflections with the participation also from the peripheries of society. There has been a variety of artistic expressions, including dance, photography, video art and performances – 42 art works from 7 countries have been presented at 13 different locations around Guatemala. The Biennale in Resistance is part of Global Platform El Salvador’s effort to build regional alliances with unusual suspects to ferment innovative thinking. You can read an English review from the art magazine Terremoto and if you chew Spanish check out this piece from the newspaper Prensa Libre.
// We all love artistic activism, but does it actually work? The past decade has witnessed a surge in “artistic activism,” but whether it actually works, has largely been a matter of inclination more than documentation. That's why we were pretty excited to be part of the Copenhagen Experiment.  An evidence-based, empirical comparative study of the variable impact of creative versus more conventional forms of activism. Check out the report here, and find out if cow shit and costumes can beef up the effect and affect of your campaign.
// Get funding for your fearless direct actions. Have you ever had a bold, creative idea for your campaign only to find that no one is willing to fund it? Do you feel that your direct actions are too often hindered by the lack of resources? If so, read on! The Get Up Stand Up direct action fund is our attempt to skip the bureaucratic donor process and get straight to the action. Africans Rising and Beautiful Trouble are announcing an open call to support direct actions anywhere in the world! We know that you don’t have time to waste and neither do we, so we’ve made the application and reporting processes very simple and straightforward. Less time on bureaucracy means more time on what you do best: Organising, educating and making beautiful, inspiring trouble! Click here for information about the application process and funding criteria. 
- is published every month by Global Platforms; ActionAid’s network for youth-led activism.

Global Platforms are youth-led spaces for building collective power. Through capacity development and support to youth-led initiatives, we seek to inspire young people to organise and act on social injustice and to connect people, organisations and movements all over the world.

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