Tuesday, 6 October 2015

We Shall Overcome: Megan Greenwood's speech

This weekend saw Hull host our second great We Shall Overcome events. Here, the youngest contributor of the evening, sums up where many of us are in terms of finding our voice - and encouraging others. 

Our thanks to Megan Greenwood:

"We are powerful and we will no longer be silenced."

 "I'm absolutely thrilled to be taking part in such an iconic political movement like We Shall Overcome.

Now onto something a little less than controversial - age. At 15 years old, politics and social movements were the last things that interested me. All I knew on the subject was that my parents hated the government!

Fast forward to 5 months before the General Election, and now politics has become a main focus of my life and, dare I say,  potential career path!

This drastic change was caused by one stranger - one stranger and his faith in me, faith in my strength, faith in my generation.

Joe Solo. The man responsible for this weekend.

This man believes! And isn't that what this weekend is fundamentally about? Faith? The faith in ourselves, the faith in each other, the faith to know that we are powerful and we will no longer be silenced.

PHOTO: Joe Solo played Queens Gardens, Hull, earlier this year.

Time after time I'm told I'm no good. I cannot be taken seriously during family debates or in public forums - because somehow society believes my intelligence is devalued by the lesser amount of time I've spent on this earth.

This was particularly apparent to me shortly after the General Election. There was a popular anecdote floating around social media about the Tory election being reflected in a U2 album every iTunes user got, when the majority didn't really want it.

A family friend stated that due to my youth, I was wrong. Due to my youth, I was an irrational extremist. Due to my youth I was manipulated by the 'dream-like' ideologies of the left wing.

To this day, and every day hereafter, I will fight for the voices of young men and women in politics.
Young people care about their future. Young people care about the future of our country. Young people care about the future of their parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren. Young people refuse a world of poverty.

As a collective we have an overwhelming sense of strength to change - and with like-minded elders, we are even stronger. The strength we gain together can move mountains and our opinions will no longer be silenced in a supposedly democratic society.

We have a voice. Every person standing in front of me has a voice. So let's use it for the common good; and let's use it for the greater good.

So, I ask of you... Encourage your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends to have a voice in politics. Ensure them that there will be people who will try to silence them but they can shout louder. We all can.

We can live in a world of equality, tolerance and peace.

We can, and we will overcome."