Young Greens action weekend in Brighton & hove
Image credit: Young Greens

On Monday, parliament looks set to call a snap General Election – and as the Young Greens, we’ve never been more ready for it.

Across the globe, young people have been rising up and fighting for their futures. From Germany to Uganda, Fiji to India and to right here in the UK, school children have been striking month after month calling for action on the climate crisis.

And of course, last weekend, one million marched for a People’s Vote, amongst them, swathes of young people fighting for freedom of movement, for collaborative climate action, and to not only remain within, but also to radically reform the European Union.

Young people are proving that they are informed, organised, and not just calling for “change” but political solutions to a political crisis.

The party for young people

In the last six months alone, we’ve seen these movements bring a radical and new wave of energy within the Green Party especially. In fact, since May this year, nearly two thousand people under the age of 30 have joined the party, and more than one hundred have registered to start up a new Young Greens group fighting for positive change in their local area.

The Green Party has demonstrated time and time again that it is the only party truly standing up for young people. And this is recognised by young people who are sick and tired of our failed government consistently stamping down on our generation and gambling away our futures.

We remember Nick Clegg’s broken promise on tuition fees. In fact, facing more than £50,000 in student debt, so many of us are still feeling its sting. The Lib Dems will never be the party for young people. Even discounting Clegg’s monumental act of deceit in 2015, the fact that the party is ideologically rooted in liberal economics means it will only offer more of the same – a broken economic system, continued austerity, and flawed “market-based” solutions to the climate crisis.

As for Labour, there’s no doubt that under Jeremy Corbyn, the party has moved significantly to the left. And the country will be all the better for it. But, it’s still Corbyn’s Labour party that has failed to hold a unified position against the expansion of Heathrow, has been silent on the role that North Sea oil and gas should play in our energy future, and ultimately can’t be trusted to deliver the vision of climate justice that so many school strikers are fighting for.

In the Greens however, the voices, lives, and futures of young people have been placed front and centre of our politics. We’re taking the climate crisis seriously – solidly backing a Green New Deal, fighting for housing justice, demanding free and fair education, calling for an end to insecure contracts and unpaid work, pushing for decent and publicly owned services, and overhauling Britain’s democratic deficit.

Jonathan Bartley made clear in his Conference speech this autumn: “young people must be heard.” We’re not just calling for votes at 16, but the right to stand for Parliament, a young people’s select committee, and minister for young people too. In the Green Party, we’re fighting to ensure young people have a voice in deciding their future.

The growing importance of the Young Greens

Indeed, internally, the party is also increasingly putting a spotlight on its youth wing and young members, providing more opportunities for the Young Greens to play a leading role in the party’s future and to be at the forefront of its politics.

In recent months, the Young Greens featured heavily in the Green Party’s party political broadcast – setting out our tone as the true party for young people. And for the first time ever, Young Greens Co-Chairs were invited to address Green Party Conference and deliver a powerful speech setting out our vision for a new kind of politics.

On top of this, the Young Greens have been seriously ramping up our profile. We have substantially increased our presence in the media, writing articles for national newspapers, delivering interviews to major broadcasters, and punching quotes and comments in the online press at every opportunity. Not only this but we’ve been out on the streets every month supporting the school strikers, speaking at rallies to call for climate justice and kicking off national anti-Brexit demonstrations too. We’re constantly growing in both reach and impact.

The Young Greens Election Machine

Perhaps most notably however, the Young Greens has now proved itself to be a powerful election machine. In the May elections, 700 hours of door-knocking from Young Greens across England made a major difference. We elected seven incredible Young Green city or district councillors, and greatly assisted winning national party campaigns elsewhere too. Not long after, we launched #TeamMagid, organising volunteers to get our first ever Young Green MEP successfully elected.

Now, we’re ready for a snap General Election. From the moment it’s called, we’ll be mobilising crowds of Young Greens to Green target constituencies every weekend to provide the numbers we need to fight and win.

We’ve already built the core foundations of our organising model, re-activating regional teams, training up new groups and society organisers, and fine tuning our phone bank operations. We’re punching high for donations and preparing access funds to boost engagement. We’re crafting a talented speaker network and press strategy. There are new skill-sets in our team meaning we can deliver even more creative and dynamic digital communications, building mass mailing lists, campaign actions, and shareable content that reminds our audiences exactly why they should be voting Green. In effect, we’re about to launch our most ambitious Young Greens election campaign ever.

This is our moment to stand up for our futures. Join us to get involved, to help fight and win.