The UMKC Student Body Is Rising Up! Our Sexual Assault Campaign To Date!

Featured

Following our call for students to take on rape culture ourselves, independent UMKC students have posted their own flyers about Marc Casanovas, known (attempted) rapist! In spite of the administration’s increasingly desperate efforts to suppress and deny the severity of sexual assault on campus, the level of discussion and action on this matter on campus is at an all time high, thanks to our efforts and more importantly, the student body itself!

Our sexual assault campaign began last spring when, a student was raped in her dorms on February 23. The UMKC administration failed to put out an alert and claimed that it was “not a security concern”. In response, we protested with other organizations on campus. Unfortunately, this effort did not result in any changes – the protest was followed by town hall meetings and committees – a trap made of red tape, laid by the UMKC admin. After intense criticism & self-criticism, we discovered three errors – that we failed to recognize that the administration’s role is antagonistic to the student body, that we worked with stale “activists” who have never accomplished anything, and that we took too gentle of an approach. We will not make these mistakes again.

The following fall semester, when we heard about yet another sexual assault targeting a UMKC student, committed by UMKC students, we sprung into action, keeping the errors of last semester in mind. We contacted the victim’s sister, and other victims to determine what issues were most pressing for them – they all informed us that the administration denied the severity of what happened to them, took no concrete action against their assailants, and even defended the reputation of their rapists. The political line upheld by our Proletarian Feminist Committee is that by politicizing women and developing militancy (not masculinity) among them thru training (like PFC’s self defense program) and revolutionary actions, we can turn the methods of violence & repression used by capitalist-patriarchy on itself. Our campaign is a synthesis of this line with the concerns of the student body.

The success has been tremendous – most of the campus knows the faces of Marc Casasnovas and Enric Ferrer, to the extent that the administration moved Marc’s tennis game out of fear that the student body will execute prompt, severe and inflexible justice for his crimes! Almost everyone who we’ve flyered to has taken interest and showed concern, and we have witnessed many discussions triggered by our efforts.

We have learned many lessons from our fellow students. A few of our newer comrades were shy about organizing & getting involved, but thru practice they have transformed. The same comrades who used to be scared to talk to their classmates are now handing out hundreds of flyers in a day. We have heard multiple additional reports from people we’ve flyered with, and are taking on other cases of sexual assault neglected by the UMKC administration.

Unfortunately, we have also discovered that international students, even those from advanced ESL classes have not been taught words like “rapist”, “predator” “sexual assault” – this isolates them from hearing about these issues, leaving them vulnerable. This openly political manipulation of language learning is a horrible maneuver by the administration & reminds us that universities are only interested in producing workers for the system to exploit, with no concern for student’s well being.

Meanwhile, the reactionaries are quaking in their boots – the administration sends out futile emails that nobody takes seriously,  and as the fear-filled fascists at the Sentinel put it, “Progressive Youth Organization (PYO) is taking no prisoners in its war”. Meanwhile, KC’s most famous (literal) basement dweller has branded us as “Kansas City’s premier anarchist/communist insurgent protesters” – the filth who comment on his blog are proud and open rapists who talk about UMKC women like we are objects for their consumption. The success of our campaign is proven by the fear we strike into the hearts of such scum.

tkc
These predators are our enemy.

All of this proves the correctness of the mass line method of organizing we use! This method takes the slogan “from the masses, to the masses”, and in it we gather the ideas, concerns and thoughts of the people, apply political theory and our organizational experience, and then return it to the people by taking action. Because these ideas ultimately stem from the masses themselves, this method serves to unite the most progressive people, to politicize the undecided and intermediate, and to isolate the reactionary elements. This process is a spiral – with each application, we learn more about the concerns of the people, leading the way for future actions. This is in contrast to NGOs and reformist organizations, who sit on their armchairs and decide what is best for the “problematic masses”

Finally, our advice to the rebellious campus heros who put up those flyers: Keep up the good work, don’t be afraid to use more militant methods, and try wheatpaste next time! It’s harder to take down.

Advertisements

UMKC Admin Has Failed, We Must Smash Rape Culture Ourselves!

Featured

UMKC administration once again failed to take concrete action against sexual assault at the last town hall. They talked about meetings, and committees and procedures – but when have those accomplished anything? Their mouths made the same motions they did during last semester’s sexual assaults, while their actions are still absent.

In face of such incompetence, PYO has taken a stand! We pasted fliers with the names and faces of two known rapists on campus, in order to warn the student body, while letting rapists know that they are not welcome here. During the flyering, we were pleased to discover that other rebellious youth had decorated the Bloch School of Business.

IMG_20171201_003321581-01

This is only the beginning – more actions will come. The end goal of this campaign is to build a revolutionary counter-culture on campus that will empower the student body to annihilate rape culture ourselves!

Such a goal is a high order, and will require dedicated, protracted struggle. If you wish to keep in touch with our future efforts, like our Facebook, and/or keep watching this website.

KCPD and UMKC Are Working Together To Repress Student Activism

Donations for legal defense

After it was announced last week that Trump has plans to visit Kansas City, PYO began organizing a protest against him. Since then, local law enforcement has harassed, threatened, and in one case, arrested student activists who they believe are affiliated with PYO. We see this as a clear attempt at political repression, directed towards student activists who wish to resist Trump and his awful policies, and organizations that are attempting to build long-term opposition to capitalism. This should give pause to all activists in Kansas City and elsewhere.

The people of Kansas City resolutely oppose Trump’s policies of separating children from their parents, of building prison camps for immigrants, his racist travel bans, his plans to attack women’s reproductive rights, and the list goes on. He is not wanted in our city, and we plan to do everything we can to organize resistance against him, now and whenever he tries to come near KC.

On Tuesday afternoon, UMKC police entered a conference for competitive high school debate, and arrested one of the speakers, who is also a student activist, as he was delivering a presentation to the assembled youth.

On Thursday morning, KCPD came to the residence of a UMKC student activist, questioned him and threatened him with legal consequences for his involvement in student activism.

Local police have demonstrated a trend of arresting activists in very public settings, in an attempt to humiliate and intimidate them. This is the second time in our organization’s history that an activist affiliated with PYO has been arrested in a needlessly public manner. This student activist, who we will refer to as John, was arrested on a warrant for alleged felony property damage on UMKC campus. Oddly enough, the warrant was issued in mid-May for a crime that allegedly occurred last January. We hold that John is innocent of the crime he is charged with, and that this arrest was just a ploy to intimidate our organization leading up to the Trump protest.

This bullshit “property damage” charge is connected with an anti-sexual assault campaign that PYO led on UMKC campus during last Fall and Spring semesters, where students put up fliers outing campus sexual predators. To make this clearer, John was charged with a felony for allegedly putting up fliers on UMKC campus last January to warn the student body about sexual predators that UMKC refused to take action against. The charges allege that some fliers put on a door somehow caused over $7,500 damage to that door. Meanwhile, these sexual predators still have not had to face any repercussions, but even weeks after school let out for Summer, UMKC is still targeting student activists they believe were involved in this anti-rape campaign.

After this student activist was taken into UMKC police custody, they then transferred him into the custody of the KCPD and he was taken to Jackson County Jail, where he was then released that night. In addition to the felony charge, he was also ordered to stay off UMKC campus, even though he is a paying student. We are asking for donations to support this student activist as he fights this clear attempt at political repression.

On Thursday morning, another student activist, who we will refer to as Jack, had plain clothes police parked out front of his residence in an unmarked car. After noticing the suspicious vehicle, Jack walked out to see what was going on, where he was then confronted by the plain clothes KCPD. These cops then pulled up pictures that they alleged were of Jack participating in a May Day march. They then tried intimidating him, even threatening to contact his parents, in order to guilt him out of organizing and to give up info on other activists.

History shows us that political repression by itself cannot defeat revolutionary organizations, but if not studied and handled correctly, it can make operable an organization’s internal contradictions and therefore hasten its demise. We refuse to buckle under this kind of pressure, and will only let it strengthen our collective will and determination to organize the youth of our class, the working class, to fight back against this rotten and immoral system that brings misery to the masses at the benefit of a small few.

Repression is not going to stop us, it will only strengthen our resolve. The more desperate these agents of the State get with their repressive tactics, the more it validates the correctness of our politics. Our enemy is foolish enough to think that intimidation will work, but we will only keep growing and advancing – it is the law of revolution.

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win

PYO

Please donate to our legal support!

Solidarity with the West Virginia Teacher Strike

We are proud to announce our solidarity with the strike in West Virginia. The public school teachers across West Virginia are fed up with the incompetent and callous leadership in their state’s government, and have gone out on strike for higher pay and better health insurance.

The governor, Jim Justice, represents the interests of the decaying ruling classes, and has made the weak and empty promise of raising salaries by a meager 5% and (even more emptily) to lower health insurance costs through the use of a theoretical task force that would be set up in a deal with the union. At a recent town hall, that at one point devolved into the Governor calling the audience “rednecks,” he implied that the resources the teachers so desperately need simply don’t exist; this is clearly a lie when we examine that material wealth is overproduced globally and capital is hoarded by the ruling classes, not just in West Virginia, but everywhere.

Strike

The rank and file saw through the thinly-veiled attempts at getting teachers to stop struggling for what’s theirs and fall back in line. They have – in defiance of the conciliatory and weak willed union leadership – continued their strike, determined to get what they came for. These teachers willingness to persevere and defy the sellouts in their union leadership has given us hope that unions can reclaim the militancy that defined them in the past. This is imperative for progress to truly succeed. This collective of teachers is not only deserving of the economic rights they are bargaining for, but they are also deserving of the right to rebel against their exploiters.

This strike shows us that there is still a revolutionary spirit present in the exploited peoples of West Virginia, calling into mind their past history of militant class struggle – from the fierce battles waged during wildcat coal mine strikes, to the sabotage of infrastructure that would enable capitalist plunder, and the lower class Appalachians waging combat against elite families of landowners. This is hallowed ground for class struggle in the United States, and these striking teachers carry that legacy forward.

Strikers old

The teachers of West Virginia have proven their might, and now they must hold firm. Integral to this struggle is the use of militant unionism. We can be ignored by our oppressors if we only hold a sign and yell at them, but if our words hold meaning, if our escalation is realized, they cannot cast us off as mere annoyances. They must meet us with concessions to our demands or they must meet us on the battlefield, and in both fights they will eventually and inevitably lose. The exploited and oppressed people of this earth have a right to rebel in any ways that fit their situational needs, and in any ways they deem necessary. We cannot allow ourselves to be held back by ideals of appeasement for our masters. We must do whatever it takes to secure our freedom against them.

The struggle of the people in West Virginia is the struggle of all exploited peoples. It is everyone’s duty to take up the mantle of revolutionary and do their part. We must build even more militant movements in our own homes, our neighborhoods, with our friends, our coworkers, our teachers, our peers, our school staff, everyone. And, in addition, we must organize to support the people in West Virginia who have made the first strike in what must become a larger struggle for educators and for the exploited classes more broadly. We cannot allow them or their students to go hungry. We must donate time and labor to their movement as well as our own, for again: their struggle is ours. Solidarity forever!

Donate to the West Virginia teachers strike fund

Facing Heat After Harboring a Rapist, UMKC Men’s Tennis Moves Their Game Without Notice – Cowardice or Incompetence?

As we inform the student body is about (attempted) rapists Enric Ferrer (UMKC Soccer) and Marc Casasnovas (UMKC Tennis), the UMKC administration has resorted to more and more desperate measures to maintain their reputation.

Because Marc is still on the roster and not even suspended, we planned to protest the UMKC Tennis game on Janurary 26th. The UMKC Athletics Website and the ticketing office over the phone both stated the game was to be held at the Plaza Tennis Center, in Kansas City,  Missouri. Yet when we arrived, we saw nothing but Roo banners left hanging, torn down by the wind.

ckear

Turns out the game was suddenly moved across the state line, and out of the city to Merriam, Kansas, with no announcement on social media or anywhere, except for an edit on their website that day. You would think that athletics would want people to show up to their games, and yet they can’t even let us know where they’re gonna be! How convenient for an administration already trying to hide from the consequences of their inaction.

You can see evidence of this for yourself – we found an older copy of the UMKC website where it states that the game is to be held in Kansas City, Missouri. In retrospect, we should have also recorded the phone call stating the game was to be held at the Plaza Tennis Center, but we did not expect the administration to stoop so low!

Regardless of if this was a convenient accident, or an active attempt to coddle sexual predators from the public, this is a massive failure for the administration. On top their inexcusable mishandling of years of sexual assaults, this proves that the UMKC administration must step up their game and act in the interests of the student body, or else we will make the necessary changes on campus ourselves. The ball is in your court!

Rape Culture, Live from UMKC Admin and their “Independent” Newspaper!

UMKC administration & their lapdog “student” organizations have noticed our campaign against sexual assault. Sadly, their responses has been denial, and in doing so, they have chosen to protect rapists instead of their victims and to propagate rape culture. They have even started repressing our efforts with legal threats and propaganda!

On Thursday, January 18, 2018, we handed out flyers warning students on campus about Enric Ferrer and Marc Casasnovas, two student athletes who had attempted to rape another UMKC student at a party on November 10, 2017. To the horror of most students who received our flyers (especially women), these two men are still on campus and allowed in the dorms and at events.  In response to this action, the Interim Chancellor/Provost/Professor of Management/PhD in Rape Apology, Barbara A. Bichelmeyer sent out an email the next day stuffed to the brim with excuses for the rapists & the university’s inaction.

email

She referred to the sexual assault as “an incident” or “complaint of inappropriate behavior”, the attempted rapists as “students”, and the victim as “complainants”. She asserted that no rape happened – a technicality, because the victim managed to escape in time. She also asserted that the “false information” in our flyers doesn’t help the victim, when in fact the victim’s sister reached out to us to thank us for spreading the word, and when the quote on our flyers comes directly from the victim herself. All of this evasion serves to encourage sympathy for the rapist, to discredit the victim, and to propagate rape culture.

The Title 9 guidelines she linked in her email authorize the university to suspect, restrict from student activities and generally isolate a rapist during an investigation for the victim’s protection, yet none of these actions have been taken! It also states that the administration must respond in a timely manner (30 days), yet it has been two months now. Clearly, the administration has no interest in combating sexual assault on campus, and their call for “patience” is an excuse for this until public outcry dies down.

Even the “independent” student newspaper tails the administration’s line – Zach Linhares from U-News wrote a hack job on December 5 attacking us for putting up flyers about the rapists – unable to even provide his own images, he used ours and blurred out the names & faces of the attackers. In this pathetic excuse for journalism, the sexual assault is prefaced with “alleged”, warning people about rapists on campus is “singling out students” and “illegal and destructive”. And in the article, John Martallero, Director of Media Relations states that the administration is investigating the incident and intends to prosecute us, yet he does not express the same threat towards the rapists themselves. He also asserted that our actions do not represent the majority of UMKC students – but then why did most of the students we gave flyers to (especially women) thank us for this information?

12

Adding insult to injury, Zach Linhares also hit up our page with obviously loaded questions. He claims to support the victim in his Facebook posts, but his deeds contradict his words by defending the rapists and attacking our efforts to warn campus about them. What pathetic liberalism it is to say one thing and to do another!

Screenshot_20180122-114455-01

All of this continues the administration’s pattern of denial – during the Spring 2017 semester, another student was sexually assaulted in the dorms – again, the university administration denied the severity of sexual assault, and again, after miles of red tape, no action was taken. In fact, we could not find any evidence that the UMKC administration has ever taken action against rapists on campus in the past ten years.

This denial directly contradicts the interests and safety of the student body. Almost every student we’ve talked to this has been horrified (with the exception of a few men). At least one prospective UMKC student has declined their acceptance out of fear of being sexually assaulted.

filtered

Why is the administration so insistent on defending known predators at our expense? Are the parents of these rapists rich donors? Is the administration trying to protect their own reputations or paychecks? In any case, they have got to change! We demand that the UMKC administration apply their own Title IX policy by:

  1. Expelling Enric Ferrer and Marc Casasnovas
  2. Completing investigations in a timely (30 days) manner
  3. Suspending accused students during investigations of sexual assault and restricting them from student events

If these demands are not met, we will continue to put pressure on the administration until material action is taken against sexual assault on campus!

End Sexual Assault on UMKC!

Last Friday night, at least two women were sexually assaulted by UMKC student athletes at a party on 49th and Lydia.

This is the latest in a long string of sexual assaults – and each time, UMKC administration claim that they hear our concerns, but tie up any potential solutions in red tape. Meanwhile, their yesmen in SGA have had no issues planning to give student athletes extra votes.

Enough is enough! It is time for us to end rape culture at UMKC, with or without the administration’s help, before another sexual assault happens!

Tonight, November 13, at the townhall meeting (7pm, Student Union Room 401), PYO’s UMKC students will demand that the administration take concrete action.

In the likely event that they only offer excuses and obstructionism, then we will organize our own efforts against rape culture.

If you want to stop sexual assault at UMKC, then share this post, come to the townhall, and take action!

PYO T-Shirts Now Available!

We have PYO t-shirts for sale at Forever 1917! The front has our logo and the back has “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win” printed on it.

All proceeds go directly to supporting the organizing work of progressive and revolutionary youth at UMKC and around the city, so snag yourself one before they’re gone!

Stop Alt-Right Token Milo Yiannopoulos from Coming to KC!

UPDATE:

Milo’s venue, The Folly Theater has dumped him. Good work folks. We accept the venue’s apology and urge them to do more due diligence in the future to avoid this type of fiasco from the start. Milo and his fascist goons are not welcome in KC!

Original Post:


Contact The Folly Theater or leave them a one star review to let them know how you feel about this alt-right scumbag coming to our city. Milo and his anti-women, anti-trans, anti-Muslim, white supremacist, pedophile apologist entourage are not welcome here! No theater who would host such a person is welcome here either!

Phone: (816) 474-4444
http://www.follytheater.com

Thank you Marcus Peters!

22195354_715892638616690_8085869058988842638_n

On yesterday’s game, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters took a stand against racism by sitting during the national anthem and has been viciously attacked by the right for this. We applaud his display of strength and integrity in the face of hatred and adversity!