I envisage our generation going down in history and grave as the generation that never brought any significant social change in Kenya, even the world!
In the late 1960s and 1990s students all over planet earth rose, stood for and fought for a variety of rights and freedoms and consequently liberated themselves from various forms of oppression and “slavery.”
They demanded equality,e.g., in the U.S.A they protested against segregation of the blacks and whites, you remember, whites went to more prestigious schools well equipped while Africans went to lesser prestigious schools and were not allowed to mingle with whites: even here in Kenya.
Students influenced political events.
They asked difficult yet very important questions and demanded explanations.
In Vietnam, they held protests and demonstrations against the War.
Students also protested against some “retrogressive traditional practices e.g. why women were looked down upon and denied certain jobs et cetera.
They demanded a change in government policies and laws.
They demanded academic freedom.
They also demanded economic freedom.
Civil rights were among their concerns as well.
They fought against poverty: their ideas and questions later shaped their respective nations futures.
They demanded conservation of the environment.
Social change: positive social change was their agenda as well.
They formed movements and groups.
Through these movements, they fought for the Students Power and ensured that they had it.T hey protested, demonstrated, they held marches, rallies, they did boycotts and even class boycotts.
Sincerely speaking, their roles and nonviolent struggle and fight can never go unnoticed in the fight and struggle for social change at a period when most states in the world were under dictatorial and tyrannical regimes/leadership.
They fought for democracy and other similar important notions. They were never scared nor intimidated, in fact, frustrations and intimidations gave them the moral, encouragement and motivation to fight even the more.
In 2012, Canada, Quebec, students demonstrated for four months at Montreal demanding a reduction to the ostensibly ever rising and increasing tuition fees.
1989, China Beijing at Tiananmen Square, students held the deadliest and bloody protest in the history of students activism. They liberated themselves and the nation against the oppressive Communist Party.
This to me was a rebellion with a worthy cause.
The so-called Tiananmen Square Massacre shaped China’s history. It not only brought positive social change and a more democratic state but also made China the second super-power nation in the world with an improved and better economy. (Am not asking Kenyan Students to get out there and be massacred).
In Kenya, Students with their lecturers, civil rights activists, religious leaders and other like-minded liberal citizens, ensured that Kenya became a plural state.
That generation was blessed.
They had revolutionary mindsets.
Their role models were people like Ernesto Che Guevara, Malcolm X, F Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr among others.
In the recent past, we have noticed, regrettably the unprecedented decline in students activism, even upon infringement and violations of their rights.
They have, seemingly, resigned to the status quo of no lectures and remained silent when “their rights to education” is on the line.
We have remained mumm on the onset of oppression, dictation, violation of human rights, police brutality, unemployment, corruption, poor services et cetera.
We have remained silent, or simply just doing very little, a bit late, when our fellow students are being killed and massacred.
We have remained silent when our various Universities are being poorly managed. When we are being offered poor services with arrogant, rude and corrupt staffs.
We have remained silent on the rampant unnecessary missing marks.
We have remained silent upon the infringement and or reduction of our academic freedom and rights.
Silent on the shrunk democratic space.
We have reduced our influence and impact on important issues both in our universities and national level.
We have accepted to be rendered powerless and speechless.
We have accepted that we are helpless and hopeless.
We have signed that by remaining silent and rubber stamped it by our inactions.
We have not held a mega protest, march, rally or demonstration upon the violation of the dittos.
We’ve not spoken.
Our Unity Is Crumbling, Our Spirit Fading, Our Strength Vanishing and The Comradeship Spirit Betrayed
Wake Up Comrades, Arise!!!
Behold, The Time Is Now!!!
We Must Reclaim Our Glory and Revive Our Strength and Energy.
We Must Stay True To The Comradeship Spirit.
Our Influence and Impact In our Various Institutions And The Nation In General Will and Should Feel The Students Impact on Various National Issues.