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OPINION: Social Justice Movements Gaining Momentum

The 2024 upcoming presidential elections mark a time of increasing polarization within both of America’s major political parties. However, recent events, such as the Israel-Hamas war and the growing tensions with China leads me to believe that this  election will be significant for America’s future in foreign policy. According to PBS,  about 4 in 10 adults cited foreign policy as a main concern for the upcoming election, nearly double from the previous year .  

Left-wing grass-roots movements such as the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and the emerging prevalence of independent candidates with a leftist attitude have been entering the political sphere with a compelling anti-war sentiment, especially given the graphic imagery of the wars in Ukraine and Gaza circulating on the internet. Young people in particular, have been gathering on college campuses all across the U.S. expressing their distaste for American-backed armed conflicts, and now this sentiment is being expressed openly at the Meredith Campus. A Washington Post article notes that students, not professors, have been leading the changes seen on campuses in recent years.

The recently founded Meredith chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has hosted several initiatives protesting against America’s backing of Israel in the conflict. The recently formed Inter-faith alliance also hosted an anti-war demonstration in protest of the airstrikes carried out by the U.S. and allies in Yemen mid-January. It is my understanding that these clubs represent a growing need for non-partisan spaces of political discussion. When students feel that their opinions lie outside major partisan agendas, new groups and coalitions form to discuss political topics that some feel don't receive adequate attention. We see this especially in a time where both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates continue approving direct and proxy attacks on foreign soil. Current president Joe Biden has faced a lot of backlash for his support for airstrikes in various parts of the Middle East , and has backed much of his progressive constituency into a corner. The recent primary elections show a significant increase in “no preference” voters for the democratic party, a movement fostered by initiatives such as Abandon Biden. NPR gives details about a $104 million dollar emergency arms sale brokered by the Biden administration without approval from Congress. By forming organizations such as the SJP, students are able to exercise their power in areas other than the polling booths and are allowing their voices to contribute towards a more symbolic message: We don’t want war anymore. 

The future of American politics is something I and many others can’t accurately predict. If Meredith’s growing political activity is any indication of what’s to come, it is to expect more candidates appealing for a greater emphasis on social justice and liberation.

By Aleena Ali, Contributing Writer

Graphic by Shae-Lynn Henderson, EIC

1 comment

1 Comment

wooooo hooooo SJP go Aleena!!!

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