A crusade is, simply put, something that's bigger than you are. It's a "cause" with an impact that reaches beyond your personal wants and needs.
Mary Shelly published Frankenstein at 20.
Galusha Pennypacker was a brigadier general at 20.
Alexander the Great conquered countries at 18.
Barbara Johns was 16 when she fought for better conditions in her segregated school.
The Original Children’s Crusade
~ Early spring 1212 – The child shepherd Nicholas leads a group numbering 7000, from the Rhineland to Genoa and Rome.
~ June 1212 – 12-year-old Stephen of Cloyes leads a group of 30,000, across France to Marseilles.
None of the children made it to the Holy Land.
Mother Jones' Children's Crusade
Civil Rights Children's Crusade
Children's Crusade (April 3-May 10, 1963), a march of over 1000 children led by James Bevel in Birmingham, Alabama, during the American Civil Rights Movement. The event resulted in outbreak of mass demonstrations throughout United States. It also had a call for a March on Washington, Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. At the end of this March, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech. (See, "Children have changed America before, braving fire hoses and police dogs for civil rights," by Steven Levingston, Washington Post, February 22, 2018.)
As many commentaries have noted, the reaction to the Parkland school shooting is turning out to be different than the aftermath of other recent shootings. Columbine occurred 19 years ago. High school survivors back then would be 33 to 38 years old today. The foundation has been set for social change.
There are several reasons for why it happened at Parkland: Over a 1000 school shooting survivors exist in the US as of 2018; the survivors of the Las Vegas massacre were tourists who went home; the elementary student survivors of Sandy Hook were not an articulate force; and the older, near adult survivors at Parkland are media savvy.
The Parkland survivors are part of a much larger wave of youth activism that can be traced back to Black Lives Matter. There is undeniable racism in the fact that the majority white, well-to-do kids of Parkland have attracted broader public support than African-American protesters. Still, if we see Black Lives Matter and Parkland as part of a continuum, this suggests America might yet address seemingly intractable social problems like police brutality and mass shootings. A new generation is rejecting their elders’ complacency about these ills—and more of these youth reach voting age every day. ~ by Feet Heer, The New Republic, February 26, 2018.
There is a "New Children’s Crusade" that has developed from the 2018 Florida school shooting.
Thus far, besides individual and group media action, the student activists (with a core of them being journalism, media, political, and theater students) at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been involved in direct community organizing. They have planned these events:
February 21, 2018, Students’s March on the State Legislature, Tallahassee, Florida.
March 17, 2018, the first month anniversary of the Parkland shooting, may result in a localized walkout in Florida.
March 24, 2018 is the date of a planned "March for Our Lives" to Washington D.C. (March 24th is the 20th anniversary of when on March 24, 1998, two boys, aged 11 and 13, fire upon teachers and students at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas; five people are killed and ten are wounded. )
April 20, 2018 is designated as the day for the "National School Walkout." (April 20th is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting of April 20, 1999. Two teen males killed 13 people and injured 24 others before dying by suicide in Columbine, Colorado.)
The group started on social media as a movement "For survivors of the Stoneman Douglas Shooting, by survivors of the Stoneman Douglas Shooting" using the hashtag #NeverAgain. The group has staged protests demanding legislative action to be taken to prevent similar shootings in the future and has vocally condemned U.S. lawmakers who have received political contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The group was founded by approximately twenty students who survived the Stoneman Douglas shooting. Wikipedia noted that "among its most prominent members are Cameron Kasky, Emma González, and David Hogg," but several other students were involved.
Who among these emerging student leaders of 2018 will continue onward as the guiding lights of this new political movement into the 2020s?
David Hogg, Alex Wind, Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, and Jaclyn Corin spoke to “Fox News Sunday” about the need for more discussion on gun control after 17 people were killed in February 14th’s deadly shooting.
On February 17, 2018, González gave an often-quoted and well-publicized 11-minute speech speech in front of the Broward County Courthouse at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. González was attacked for her Fort Lauderdale speech by many from the political right. She has also faced derogatory and misinformed comments made by internet trolls about her sexual orientation, short hair, and skin color. Glamour Magazine called González "the face of the #NeverAgain movement" and "a recognizable icon."
David Hogg is a Teenlink reporter for the Sun Sentinel, and chose to attend Stoneman Douglas because of the television production classes it offered. Hogg was a focus of alt.right conspiracy theories that he was a "crisis actor." Alex Jones' anti-Hogg videos were cited for "harassment and bullying" by YouTube and Facebook, and removed. Mario Rubio tweeted, "Claiming some of the students on tv after #Parkland are actors is the work of a disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency."
Carly Novell, a senior at the Florida high school where at 17 people were killed in a mass shooting Wednesday afternoon, survived by hiding in a closet with several of her classmates. It was an eerie parallel to a day almost 70 years earlier, when Novell’s grandfather, Charles Cohen, survived one of the nation’s earliest mass shootings by a lone gunman in 1949....When Cohen was 12 years old, he hid from notorious mass murderer Howard Unruh in Camden,New Jersey, as his parents and grandmother were killed in their home."Student Carly Novell Became the Second Member of Her Family to Survive a Mass Shooting," by Olivia Estrum, Mother Jones, February 15, 2018.
One of the less inspiring things about the movement led by student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has been the conspiracy theory—proliferated in the swampy depths where such things proliferate—that the students are actually “crisis actors.” It’s a warped brand of trutherism that spread after Sandy Hook and has since, as my colleague Eric Lach wrote this week, been impossible to reason with. But that isn’t to say that the kids aren’t actors. Cameron Kasky, the seventeen-year-old firebrand who started the Never Again movement with his classmates, told Wolf Blitzer, “Well, if you had seen me in our school’s production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ you would know that nobody would pay me to act for anything.” ~ by Michael Shulman, "The Spring Awakening of the Stoneman Douglas Theatre Kids," The New Yorker, February 23, 2018.
Avengers: The Children's Crusade, appeared via Marvel Comics,
first in June 2011, written by Allan Heinberg and illustrated by Jim Cheung.