Wayne Teens for Palestine: NJ Youth Journey Toward Free Palestine Series Launch

This is the first of what will hopefully be a series of youth voices about their “Journey Toward Free Palestine”.  We aim to provide the participant view of those youth on the ground that did the work to establish a statewide network that was able to act in concert on Friday February 8th with over a dozen student and youth coordinated actions around the state of NJ.  This contribution is from one of the coordinators of Wayne Youth 4 Palestine who led one of the successful protests that day and has otherwise been organizing as part of a collective of other area groups toward these goals.  Read and celebrate this historic development in NJ! Ed.

My involvement in this issue stems not only from my Palestinian heritage but also from a sense of empathy and concern for the suffering my people endured, not only since october 7th but for the 75 years of illegal occupation, ethnic cleansing and genocide. I have personally experienced the repercussions of the ongoing conflict, facing hate and discrimination in response to the plight of Gaza. The heartbreaking reality that approximately half of Gaza’s population consists of children, each with their own aspirations and dreams, compelled me to take action. I felt a responsibility to stand up for them and for the innocent lives caught in the genocide.

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The journey towards organizing began with a simple yet powerful initiative by a few friends from across schools in New Jersey, who were hopeful to organize a collective march at their school. This inspired a collective effort among students across New Jersey to unite and amplify our voices through youth-led protests in our respective towns. Through teamwork, social networking, and shared aspirations, a network of like-minded individuals began to unite.

Organizing began swiftly, charged by the urgency of the cause and the shared determination to effect change. Collaboratively, we navigated logistical challenges, coordinating efforts to ensure that our protests would resonate effectively across different regions and communities within New Jersey. Each member of our group contributed unique ideas and perspectives, enriching our collective strategy and enhancing our capacity to mobilize.

Communication and planning were facilitated primarily through online platforms, including Zoom meetings and messaging channels. Despite different distances and scheduling constraints, we recognized the importance of maintaining strong communication to maximize our impact.

While our interactions with teachers and administrators at Wayne Hills High School remained apathetic, we encountered resistance from some students who hoped to undermine our cause through spreading misinformation and doubt. Despite these challenges, we remained steadfast in our commitment to advocating for justice and raising awareness about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.

Throughout the process, frustrations inevitably arose, ranging from logistical hurdles to interpersonal conflicts and the disheartening indifference of bystanders. However, these challenges only strengthened our goal and reinforced the significance of our mission. As a senior in high school, I feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment at my young age, knowing that I have played a part in amplifying the voices of the marginalized and standing up for what is just. Despite the setbacks and uncertainties, I am reassured by the knowledge that I have contributed to a cause greater than myself, leaving an inevitable mark on my community.

Click pic to see Insta picture set and connect w/ @WayneTeens4Palestine
Click pic to see Insta vid and connect w/ @WayneTeens4Palestine

Vid Sampling from Statewide Events