Young people must march for their future on October 20

by Bella Frimpong | 09.10.2018

On March 28, in the SECC Glasgow, the National Union of Students were hosting their annual conference. The day before, they had become the first national organisation to publicly support a People’s Vote. Amatey Doku, their vice-president of higher education was meant to be giving a standard re-election speech – pledges delivered, more work yet to be done, etc. But he didn’t do that.

Instead, Amatey stood on stage and said that if re-elected, he would lead calls for a youth and student-led demonstration on a People’s Vote, around the time of Parliament’s meaningful vote on any Brexit deal.

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of this moment. This was before Boris Johnson and David Davis had resigned, and public opinion remained unmoved on Brexit. It was before the People’s Vote March in June, before Vote Leave being found in breach of electoral law and even before the People’s Vote campaign had launched.

Since then, 100 students’ unions, the largest youth and student-led organisations in the country and thousands of young people have taken up the mantle of fighting for their futures, for a People’s Vote. I’m proud that at For our Future’s Sake, we have young activists across the nation, from every region and of all backgrounds.

This is entirely in keeping with the history of youth activism in the UK. Much mocked, often maligned for our radical ideas – before the rest of society catches up with us.

  Join us at the  

  March 23rd | Noon | Park Lane, London  

You only have to look at the history of political activism in this country to realise that where young people go, the rest of the country follows. From LGBTQ+ rights, to civil liberties, to mental health awareness – ideas at the very least mocked, if not actively attacked: all were ultimately accepted and championed.

The links go beyond the history of youth-led activism. Many of us aren’t just fighting for an abstract entity, but for the very values we hope to see in society: we want it to be open, tolerant and diverse. We want the sort of society where the daughter of a kitchen manager and a shunter supervisor of Ghanaian heritage can move from Italy to the UK to pursue a British education and subsequently be a productive member of society. That’s just the story of me and my family, but there are millions of others like it.

I may be unable to vote, but on October 20 I’ll be marching in solidarity with thousands of other young people and students to demand that Parliament gives us the chance to make our voices heard, by giving us a People’s Vote. In March, the idea of a final say was dismissed by many as laughable, and laughed at. But you can’t stop an idea whose time has come. The gap between the promises of two years ago and what is being delivered gets ever wider. The future of the next generation is at risk. The actual problems in the UK – stagnating wages and an economy that isn’t working for everyone – are still unsolved.

There’s only one place to go if young people want to take back control of our futures: the streets of London, at the People’s Vote March for the Future on October 20th.

Bella Frimpong is a member of For our Future’s Sake, a youth campaign for a People’s Vote.

Edited by Quentin Peel

One Response to “Young people must march for their future on October 20”

  • PLEASE PLEASE STOP THE FIGURE FOR 23 JUNE MARCH BEING GIVEN AS 100,000. IT was half a million (and according to police!)