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The Blue & Gray Press | October 24, 2017

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Editorial: Hong Kong protests exemplify millennial activism

By THE BLUE AND GRAY PRESS EDITORIAL BOARD

As you read this, thousands of young Chinese students are partaking in an intense pro-democracy protest, demanding full suffrage for all the people of Hong Kong.

This protest is the result of a recent decision by the Chinese government that stated Hong Kong’s next chief executive would not be democratically elected by the citizens, but instead would be decided by a panel within the government, stripping the voice of Hong Kong citizens.

Led by Joshua Wong and Alex Chow, students across the city have taken to the streets demanding Hong Kong citizens receive “real universal suffrage and real democracy.”

The events have reverberated across the globe. We at the Blue & Gray Press feel this speaks to a profound and admirable level of drive and makes one point very clear: students and young people everywhere are here and will be heard.

Millennials are perceived as apathetic, entitled and lazy. There are hundreds of op-eds about our faults. However, progressive protests like these continuously challenge and subvert the stereotypes pushed on us.

There is something about youth that harbors a light and passion for change. One could even argue that we perhaps are the antithesis of apathetic. We feel profoundly and react similarly. Recent events prove this, especially at the University of Mary Washington.

Take Feminist United on Campus for example, who feverishly speak out and campaign for sexual assault reform on college campuses, creating and encouraging a safe environment for women on campus to come forward. They took to Washington, D.C. to promote the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Nearly 50 UMW students traveled to New York City for the People’s Climate March, said to be the largest climate march in history, in an action to end the climate crisis. Amongst passionate crowds and more than 100 world leaders, they chanted and held signs, bringing awareness to the impending climate crisis.

And lastly, we at The Blue and Gray Press are living and writing to not only our peers, but to the surrounding community. We bear the responsibility of giving you the most accurate and timely news in an ethical and professional manner.

Millennials are continuously trying to create better functioning environments, even if it means shifting and dismantling harmful existing systems. And while there is an astronomical amount of work to do, we learn from the past and continue to move forward.

We are all different religions, races, creeds, sexes and genders linked by an unanimous factor: the persistence of our generation

From this campus to Hong Kong, milleneals have proven that we are much more than perceived.

We may not know what we want just yet, but we most certainly do know what we do not want. We do not want injustice. We do not want to be ignored.

Millenials want our government to pay attention to the issues we push each and every day on this campus and everywhere else. Whether some may like it or not, we are the future. We’ve been given the foundation, and now, it’s our time to build.