Your Voice Matters (YVM26)
Mankind’s view of the world has changed drastically over the past century. Beginning with inventions such as the telephone, radio, and the airplane, our perception is the Earth has become smaller while its physical size has remained the same. More recent technologies like the television, computers, and especially the Internet, have begun to create a sense of global community. It is with this in mind that I’ve turned my attention today to the other side of the planet.
Recently, a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, held by the Israeli government, resulted in an agreement for better conditions and visitation privileges. You can read more about the strike and the agreement in an article from the Guardian.
A group of youth activists, part of an organization called Stop the Wall, vocally protested outside the prison in support of the hunger strikers. In an interview posted on the Electronic Intifada, Stop the Wall youth coordinator, Hassan Kharajeh, spoke about the role the youth protest played.
For over seven hours Palestinian youth confronted the occupation and made their voice heard, nationally, internationally and even inside the prison cells of Ofer.
For the prisoners, this incredible show of strength and willpower has brought the chance to significantly alleviate their suffering.
While not everyone will agree with the political views of those involved with the Palestinian struggles in Israel, the power of voice cannot be questioned. The protest staged outside the prison, in combination with virtual ones staged on social media, had an impact on changing the conditions in which the prisoners were being held. That’s powerful stuff!
Now, you probably don’t have anything this globally polarizing going on in your community, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find something you feel needs changing. Maybe you wish your school offered more healthy snacks, or maybe there’s a sport or activity you enjoy that you feel is neglected in your town — whatever change you want to see probably won’t happen unless you make your voice heard. The notion of “Thinking globally, acting locally,” is very real. Big ideas usually start with something small, so be sure to use your voice in a positive manner today — it’s a powerful thing!