Ira Birkenfeld runs a YouTube video channel for young people whose slogan is "Communists of all kinds unite!" He was born in Reno, Nev., in 1982 and lived for a while in Alaska, where he got his G.E.D., spent some time living in a homeless shelter, and attended the University of Alaska in Anchorage for two years, studying anthropology and public speaking. He returned to Reno to help care for his mother, and has been unemployed since the K-Mart where he worked was shut down. He is "1/4 Shoshone Native American, and a mix of Filipino, Chinese, Irish, German, and a few others that I really can't remember."
"I've always been political," he says, "and have tried to be as active as possible.