Senator Ed Markey famously got a big boost in his re-election campaign against Representative Joe Kennedy last year from young progressive activists, who placed heavy emphasis on policies like the Green New Deal and used social media to effectively expand their reach. Now many of those same organizers are putting pressure on Markey over his response to Israel’s deadly airstrikes of Gaza following Hamas rockets.
To discuss the role of youth activism in Massachusetts politics, Adam Reilly was joined by local political organizers Lillian Gibson and Calla Walsh, who both worked to re-elect Markey in 2020, and Ellen Barry, New England Bureau Chief for the New York Times. “There’s definitely a fear that your candidate could be the next Joe Kennedy,” Barry said about what she heard from Democrats while reporting.
“Young people have always been calling out people and institutions that they disagree with,” Gibson said on pushing for progressive policies. “The Markeyverse just had strength this time and continued to call out people who we don’t agree with. I think that it shouldn’t be a surprise that with social media and the Twitter landscape, that people could energize a whole group of people and make a change. It’s a positive thing.”
WATCH: Young progressives push Democrats to the left