WHAT IS RESISTANCE? When I told people I was working on a resistance guide for teens, occasionally someone would ask me, “Why? They can’t vote.” I would just shake my head. Adults are so dumb sometimes. We forget that we were all teens—NO ONE HAS SKIPPED THIS STEP. We spent most of our time in school learning stuff like history, social studies, public speaking, composition. You know, stuff to make us better members of society. Adults forget that we knew stuff back then and had opinions and that t here is no magic transformation that occurs when the clock ticks you over from age seventeen to eighteen. You, my teenage friends, are voters-in- training, the same as adults. Adults forget that we are all voters-in-training. The learning process never stops. We need to look to our younger citizens and non-citizens because you’re the ones coming at subjects for the first time; your perspectives, as a result, are fresh and passionate. You practice learning e very day. You know how the Internet works. You have not developed the often rigid ways of thinking that plague adults. In short, you are often better at activism. Tragically, it took the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, to make this point clear to everyone. When the students rose and made the Never Again movement, when you debated senators in a televised town hall a week later, when you led students across
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 MAUREEN JOHNSO N the country to take action on gun control . . . everyone knew that you had changed the program. This book came about b ecause I had that strange, sucking feeling in my soul after the 2016 election—the one that made me (and almost everyone I know) ask, “But what can I do? WHAT CAN I DO?” The question haunted me day and night. “I only know how to make books,” I said to myself. So I decided to do that. Here is a book about resistance for teens. (And anyone else who wants to read this book. ALL ARE WELCOME HERE. We are all in training, remember.) On the most basic level, resistance means not accepting things the way they are. It means asking questions about how things get done, about how society, laws, and cultural norms have come to be. It can also mean actively taking part in the political process—going to marches, working for campaigns, posting, debating, creating. . . . It can mean a lot of things. In these pages you’re going to find different types of materials. There are essays. There are poems. There are songs. There are cartoons. There are lists. There are interviews. There are sample letters to help you contact your representatives. Th ere is information about specific actions people under eighteen can take. There is advice on how to step out of your comfort zone and make something. Read this book in any order you want—start at the beginning and read it through, or open at random. Whatever speaks to you . . . wonderful. It’s not a prescription; it’s a way to get you g oing. Your acts of resistance w ill vary. Your ways of approaching issues will differ. Good. That’s the way it should be. Resistance isn’t a set of steps—it is an ecosystem in which all the different creations live and help one another grow. These are hard times, but also times of g reat opportunity. So come on in and let’s get to it!
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