The New Wave

Tremendous report by the Guardian’s Ian Traynor from an international meeting of revolutionary democratic youth in Albania yesterday:

Young veterans and strategists of the Orange, Rose and Cedar revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia and Lebanon, as well as of the anti-Milosevic uprising, were joined in Tirana by Albanian youngsters organised to fight everything from illegal Italian waste dumping to corruption and violence against women. Alongside them were student leaders hoping to emulate the success of their peers against the daunting dictatorships in Belarus, Azerbaijan and in Uzbekistan, where President Karimov has just demonstrated his ruthlessness by massacring hundreds.

“We all consider your chains our own,” declared the Albanian youth leader, Erion Veliaj, 25. “We hope you all reach a non-genetically modified democracy.”

If the revolutionary class of 1989 comprised middle-aged dissidents and intellectuals graduating from underground bookclubs to the barricades, the class of the new millennium is a revolutionary vanguard that is media savvy.

Their tools are the internet chatroom and the text message, the logo and brand recognition, the eye-catching flyer and pithy sloganeering. These outfits are non-hierarchical, decentralised, nominally leaderless and organised with militaristic precision.