Non.Violent.Generation Working Table

We, the participants of the non.violent.generation working table at the North American New Humanist Forum identified and reflected upon the many ways in which violence infiltrates every space of the lives of young people - and thus the lives of all - from the most personal to the more global aspects of our experience in the region. This violence takes many faces, some of which are: the denial of education and historical knowledge; the exploitation of young peoples as instruments of war; the criminalization and objectification of young people by the military and prison-industrial complex; the silencing of young voices; the hyper-sexualization and simultaneous denial of reproductive rights of young people, especially women; the absence of spaces for equitable dialogue between generations; the enslaving and displacing free trade policies in the region; the hindrance of intercultural exchange and solidarity between young peoples from different parts of the region due to the physical, psychological and legal walls built by governments and corporations; the pervasive arrogance and aggression of the United States government within the region; the media's role in internalizing fear, violence and indifference; and the denial of safe public spaces for community formation and political expression.

We propose that, because the younger generation is the natural bridge between the older generations and generations to come, the continuance of a status quo in which youth are left to struggle alone will impede the possibility of a peaceful and equitable future for all. That is to say; there will be no joy if it is not for all.

Therefore, as the younger generation:

- We demand the fall of the geographical, psychological, cultural, monetary, and physical borders in the region and we further demand that the borders imposed by ableism and ageism be overcome.

- We demand laws that protect the human rights of young peoples regionally, regardless of where they choose to live or are forced to relocate.

- We demand the renunciation of war as a means to solve conflicts within the region and the world, and we insist that those who call for war for their own private ends fight their private wars themselves and with their own money. Our lives and our resources are not theirs to waste!

- We demand that the resources previously stolen and poured into the endless cycle of violence are immediately re-diverted and used to benefit those to whom they belong.

- We thus demand that the wealth of the region is used towards equal opportunities and access to free education, free health care, and free movement within the region, for all, without exception.

Furthermore, we, the participants of the non-violent generation working table propose the following actions and commitments for the near future:

- We will expand and deepen our network of young people across the three countries by translating and disseminating the above document for further development and sponsorship to individuals, groups, organizations and movements in the region?

-We commit to attending the next regional forum, before which we propose there be a pre-forum summit for young peoples of the region, accessible to youth of all ages and ability status.

-We will develop relationships and coordinate collaborative actions and projects with the younger generations from South America, Africa, Europe and Asia and through the Regional Humanist Forums.

-We will dedicate October 2nd, the international day of non-violence, to expanding the spaces for young North Americans to express their frustrations, challenges, hopes and visions for the future in a non-violent and equitable manner, and for all to hear.

-We commit to the preservation our diversity and to creating solidarity among all peoples, young and old, of our region and the world.

As someone at our table reminded us: We are the bridge, the hope and the holders of a light for a new world.

Facilitators: German Ramirez, Carolina Muñoz, Ismail Khalidi