They are between 11 and 17 years old, so they are totally innocent in Trump's election, just as they would have been totally innocent if Hillary had been elected: they do not yet have the right to vote. They are very young, they are innocent and they master the magic of the verb. They were three of the 20 young people who spoke on the huge podium set up at the feet of the Capitol on Saturday, March 24, for the March for Our Lives, in which eight hundred thousand people participated in Washington, while 800 other marches and gatherings took place in the USA and around the world.
The vast majority of the protesters were schoolchildren, college and high school students, with a strong presence of parents, grandparents and teachers, and a rainbow diversity, both in ethnicity and gender, reflecting the population. The objective of this mobilization, which began after the mass killing at Parkland High School in Florida on February 15, is to obtain stricter legislation on the sale and possession of firearms, including a ban on the sale of firearms to youth under 21. Parkland's killing was neither the first nor the last of the year but it was apparently the blood on the straw (17 deaths) that broke the camel's back. Across the country, young people have mobilized to say "Enough is enough!" and "Never again! ».
This revolt movement triggered by anguished youth in the face of the armed violence that threatens them on a daily basis - in their neighbourhood, in the street, at school - is intrinsically apolitical, in that it is not guided or controlled by any political party or group. But it is political by force of circumstance since it clashes with a president closely linked to the lobby of arms dealers and defenders of the right of every citizen to bear arms. This powerful lobby is guided by one of the worst pressure groups in the United States, the National Rifle Association, which donated $30 million for Trump's election campaign.
Saturday's three most impressive speakers were Emma, Edna and Naomi, who made really powerful speeches, full of rage and emotion.
Emma Gonzalez is a senior student, survivor of the Parkland High School massacre. The daughter of a Cuban emigrant who arrived in the USA in 1968, she was wearing a Cuban flag in an armband on her badge-covered jacket when she spoke on the podium. She silenced the crowd for six minutes and 20 seconds, the length of the killing she survived in Parkland.
Naomi Wadler is eleven years old and has taken the lead in mobilizing at her primary school in Virginia. Initially sceptical, the school principal then let her go with her schoolmates, convinced by their arguments and impressed by their determination. Naomi said she was speaking on behalf of a series of recently murdered black girls and women who are not in the news. She told people who said she was being manipulated by anonymous adults that they had it all wrong. She said she was aware that she and her comrades had seven years to exercise her right to vote. But, she continued: " I am here to honour the words of Toni Morrison: if there is a book that you want to read but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it. I urge everyone here and everyone who hears my voice to join me in telling the stories that aren't told - to honour the girls, the women of colour who were murdered at disproportionate rates in this nation. I urge each of you to help me write the narrative for this world and understand so that these girls and women are never forgotten. After listening to Naomi, tweeted Jennifer Colamonico, “My white 6yo watching #NaomiWadler in awe... “that girl is going to be president some day.”
Finally Edna Lizbeth Chávez, a senior in a high school in the south of Los Angeles, the largest Latino district of the Californian metropolis, spoke, after crossing herself and beginning with a "Hola buenas tardes". Apparently the daughter of Mexican immigrants, she recalled her older brother Ricardo, shot dead, who died between her arms. And she spoke of her work as a "youth leader" in the Community Coalition working to change the conditions of South Los Angeles' disadvantaged population.
They are innocent, emotionally driven, and quite naive, of course. Will they keep this naiveté and let the next Democratic candidates in the various elections trick them into voting for them in the various communities? Part of them probably will. But I find it hard to believe that Emma, Naomi and Edna, if they continue like this, will get so easily entangled.
From the depths of USAmerica, a new nation is rising.