Principles Deep Dive - 6 to 10
Updated: May 1, 2020
Welcome to this About RR blog - here we'll be looking further into our principles, explaining where they come from and why we feel they're important to our work going forward - if you haven't checked out Part 1 make sure you do, but otherwise enjoy!
No.6 - So, we know a lots of us get flashbacks and cold sweats simply by reading the word 'learning' - all those exam halls and long nights of brain-numbing revision... - and yet, we all know that learning is so much more than what we're forced to ingest at school. From learning how to navigate our groups of friends to the unspoken lessons about racism, sexism and more that we all absorb growing up - learning is a continual process of us living in the world and with other people.
By making this explicit in Radical Restart we want to empower us all to see ourselves not just as learners but also as teachers, and to see everything we do as part of this mutual learning process. Now that might sound like far too much learning, but this isn't a case of saying yes or no - this learning takes place, its how we are wired as humans, and only by being concious of this can we work together to really grow our collective understandings.
No.7 - For many of us in the global north, especially those from more privileged backgrounds, it can be easy to separate activism from everyday life - but most people do not have this luxury, as everyday they are faced with violence, oppression or injustice. Not only this, but, to truly bring about change we have to know that how we act is a constant piece of the puzzle in putting things right. If we work really hard for a cool action, but then go to school and put up with our friends homophobic language or allow ourselves to be brainwashed, then what do we really stand for?
It’s not about self sacrifice, or wearing ourselves down by constant conflict, because we all need a balance, and to find our own way to work sustainably. Part of rebelling is looking after ourselves, in a society that profits off insecurities and neglects wellbeing! The point is just that we need to hold an understanding that activism is more than an action, more than debates and conversations - it is (at risk of sounding real cheesy here) a way of life, a constant struggle. And so while it might sound pretty hard, its also what makes us feel most alive and it is how we build the future we need!
No.8 - This one is much more fun than the long words make it sound- it's all about ideas and action. Like principle No. 1, we believe young people have the imagination and power to change the world, but we are taught to listen to authority, and leave things to those who 'know best'. After years of this at school it can suddenly feel out of our comfort zones to jump in and start doing stuff without being told how to first!
Decentralisation is the idea that no one is in charge, and that we all have a stake. Autonomy is all about picking stuff up and running with it. This means we want you to jump in do your thing, get learning with us and working together to make things happen!
No.9 - Making friends! One of the things you find with activism is how quickly you can get to know people, on a deeper level than some other friends you might have know for years. Finding people you vibe with is great, but our relationships are also important in creating the culture we need for transformative change. Engaging with people on a human level is key to working in a way that both supports us as activists, and challenges how we see the world.
The way we live in many 'developed' countries is very isolating and seperationist. Even before Covid-19, we were distanced from each other - but we believe that community and connection are tools we need to change the world. The myth that human beings are individual, and totally independent - that we don't need each other or the natural world - is exactly what has gotten us in this mess! By building trust we can learn more and grow more, not to mention do some spicy actions together...
No.10 - Change exists in a million forms, and as young people, in all our beautiful diversity, we are here to embrace all these forms - from illegal raves, to school occupations, from dancing in the street to sharing our cultural stories. We are here not only because we are young people, wanting to fight for our futures, and a better world; but we are also here as young people, in all our energy, fire and noise.
This is the essence of Youth, an identity that exists to challenge the old, to push boundaries and create new cultures - in times of dramatic crisis when everything needs to change, we believe it is in the identity and strengths of youth that true answers will be found. So we are not just here as young people, but we are here to reclaim the power of youth and we are ready to stand in that power.
Radical Restart Crew!