Dare To Struggle, Dare To Win: Kansas City Rises Against Trump

The people of Chicago did what no one had done since the 1960s: actually shut down an presidential election rally and they could not have picked a better person to shut down. The fascist clown Donald Trump was immediately kicked out before he even took the stage, due to pressure from the thousands of protesters outside, as well as those on the inside of the venue. Some sources claim that upwards of 60% of attendees in Chicago’s Trump rally were actually protesters.

Apart from seeing this as well as the events in St. Louis, we begin to see a trend where Trump’s rhetoric against Mexicans, Black people, Muslims and others are reaching a boiling point. A point where people no longer can stand quiet and do nothing as this beast is allowed to spew hate and sow seeds of discontent. In the past we saw crowds in the Trump rallies spit, punch and assault individual protesters with no interference from police, security or the Secret Service. Now we are seeing larger numbers come out not only to disrupt his hate speeches, but to rally outside his venues. The events in Chicago and St. Louis inspired us in Progressive Youth Organization to issue the call to get “Trump Out of KC”. Donald Trump had been scheduled to host a rally at the Midland Theater in Downtown Kansas City, at the same time as the Big 12 Basketball tournament was going on in the City and we had hoped to draw a huge crowd to meet him upon his arrival.

Protest of Donald Trump

Protest of Donald Trump campaign for President outside a Trump campaign rally at the Midland Theatre in downtown Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

Protest of Donald Trump

Protest of Donald Trump campaign for President outside a Trump campaign rally at the Midland Theatre in downtown Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

In essence thousands of people were going to be downtown, thousands more than usual. With less than two days to prepare, our organization was in full motion to not only coordinate the call to rally outside, but also to coordinate disruptions with our members and those taking our lead, as well as spreading the call to support the bail and legal fund for those that could have been and that were arrested. Inside our comrades as well as fast food workers from Stand Up KC and others disrupted Donald upwards to a dozen times for almost 45 minutes. It became so bad for Trump that much of his time was spent ranting about protesters and reading a newspaper about a snake for ten minutes, the meltdown of Trump after being disrupted for so long was taking a toll that he was forced to leave early.

The rallies themselves are almost circus like, complete with incomprehensible yelling, glam rock music and hooligan fans. Some comrades of ours had their hair pulled, signs torn up, and shoved. Others were spit on, with the Secret Service and the Kansas City Police Department doing absolutely nothing to protect protesters. In fact the police were culprits in the violence themselves. Shoving people by the neck, pulling batons out and rough handling people out of the venue. Continue reading

Capitalism and Segregation At the Roots (with Video)

The chairperson of the Progressive Youth Organization, Andrés, was invited to speak at Longview Community College surrounding the issue of segregation. As a lifelong resident of Kansas City, in a segregated, now rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, our comrade gives an analysis of segregation as an institution of racism and ties it with the capitalist mode of production. He also comments briefly on the role Kansas City played in segregating America’s cities and how even after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act Kansas City continued and continues to remain a very segregated city. The video of the lecture is provided as well as the presentation paper to go along with it.

The Roots of Racism

slave_trade_1650-1860_b - www.slaveryinamerica.org

The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation. . . . [They all] depend in part on brute force, e.g., the colonial system. But, they all employ the power of the State, the concentrated and organised force of society, to hasten, hot-house fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production into the capitalist mode . . . . [C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.

So to begin we should go back to the roots of segregation which is a form of institutional racism. This begs a chicken and the egg question of which came first? Well when we talk of how people perceived one another some groups of people were viewed as being lower than others we see this in how the Romans and Greeks would call non-Romans and non-Greeks “Barbarian”. We see even in the Aztec world in which the slur for nomadic peoples was “chichimeca” or dog-speaker. People had a conception of prejudice of other people throughout millenia, there was a semblance of superiority even, but the institutional aspect of this prejudice taking the form of laws, the social division of labor based on race and nation only come about under capitalism. It would not be wrong to say then that we know what came first in this question. The chicken is capitalism, a capitalism which developed rapidly in the post-feudal, post-Black death age of Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. We should reflect upon just how Western capitalism got it’s first start-up that is it’s first huge surges of capital and wealth, in the process in which Karl Marx called “the primitive accumulation” which he notes in his volume Capital:

The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation. . . . [They all] depend in part on brute force, e.g., the colonial system. But, they all employ the power of the State, the concentrated and organised force of society, to hasten, hot-house fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production into the capitalist mode . . . . [C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt. Continue reading

Working Women: We Have The Power!

March 8th is International Working Women’s Day or International Women’s Day. This is a day of celebration and recognition for the struggles overcame and accomplishments achieved by women, especially working women. We begin on March 8, 1857 when garment workers in New York City march and picket demanding better working conditions, a ten hour work day and equal rights for women. The brave women who had dared to fight for better conditions were dispersed by the police. A full fifty-one years later on the same day on March 8, 1908, women in the needle trades in New York City marched again. The march this time, honoring that historic march on 1857 demanded the right for women to vote, they also demanded an end to child labor. Just as in the past the police were there to disperse them.

In commemoration of these struggles, in 1910 at the Second International, a worldwide socialist party congress, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8th be proclaimed as International Working Women’s Day, to commemorate the mobilization of women workers in the US and honor working women the world over. Since then, we recognize all efforts to improve the lives of women, both locally and globally. It is also an occasion to unite, mobilize and struggle for a radical change that is still desperately needed. Continue reading

Out With The Racists, In With The Refugees

As 2016 rolls around, so does the 5th year of the Syrian Civil War. amerikkaMillions of people have fled the country attempting to escape the violence, preferably to Europe or the United States. In a 289-137 the US House of Representatives voted to make it harder for refugees fleeing the tragic violence to come here. In Missouri, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and the Missouri Republicans want the State to deny entry for all Syrian Refugees. Meanwhile Governor Jay Nixon wants “more safeguards” to an already restrictive process. While in Kansas politicians like Sam Brownback are attempting to block refugees from coming in signing an executive order to prevent refugee resettlement! Governor Sam Brownback is a gubernatorial travesty, and is trying to shift the attention away from his failed policies and joins about 20 more governors, in denying refuge for those fleeing terror and violence caused by this country’s imperialist policies. They are not alone, presidential candidate Donald Trump, one never to disappoint with his racist rhetoric, has even gone as far as to call for a ban on all Muslim immigration and a national database as we “cannot be sure” if they are terrorists or not. Implying that the majority of the world’s Muslims are only a shove away from adopting the tenets of the Islamic State. This sort of language is what comes right before a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Using racist and Islamophobic rhetoric, the Far Right in this country has demonized and painted with a broad brush all Muslims and people of Arab descent as terrorists. We must stand together against these reactionaries because they do not only affect refugees from countries like Iraq or Syria, but also refugees fleeing violence in Central America.

syria

Continue reading

Break The Cages: End Detainment of Asylum Seekers!

Asylum-seekers fleeing violence in their home countries are being indefinitely held in private detention centers under horrendous conditions and set for deportation to countries where they face immediate danger. In light of this situation detainees in these facilities began a series of hunger strikes, demanding immediate release and an end to deportation. The hunger strikes originated mid- October at an El Paso detention center with 54 South Asian detainees and it quickly spread to several other detention centers in the South, including the LaSalle Detention Center in Louisiana, the T.Don Hutto Detention center, the East and West Facility of Adelanto in California and more, as the risk of death through starvation became their only route to freedom. These acts of solidarity show the level of desperation for humane treatment that is not provided by our government. The detainees made the following demands: Continue reading

Stop The Dirty War on the Poor! Solidarity with Cooper Court

Progressive Youth Organization in Kansas City stands in solidarity with the poor, the oppressed, and those experiencing homelessness in Boise, Idaho. The recent actions surrounding Cooper Court are a direct, intentional and violent attack on some of Boise’s most vulnerable community members by some of the city’s most powerful. We stand united with the people of Boise against this unjustifiable crime. We see this as an attack on all the poor, working and oppressed peoples of Boise, and part of a broader trend affecting the entire country. We strongly condemn the actions of the hyper-aggressive and over-zealous BPD. We strongly oppose the clandestine actions of the City of Boise, along with all of its political elite who supported this disgraceful maneuver. It’s reprehensible enough that a number of our oppressed and vulnerable siblings have to resort to this “tent city” (recalling scenes from the Great Depression); but it’s absolutely atrocious that the BPD would launch a coordinated attack to forcibly remove them from their only stable shelter without providing any sustainable, long-term and dignified alternative. Continue reading

Recognition Is Not Enough! Trans Liberation Now!

Today on Transgender Day of Remembrance, let us remember all of the trans people whose lives we lost this year to violence and suicide. This is a day of sorrow, grief and despair for trans people and for all of humanity. TDOR is the only trans-specific holiday, yet it is not recognized by our governments. Our fallen receive no moments of silence in school halls, no flags at half mast, and little mention from the mainstream press. This is our holiday, and we must come together as one with our allies to remember, cherish and mourn the beautiful lives lost in our community.

We must stand with all trans people in their fight for liberation against systemic transphobia, transmisogyny, and anti-trans violence. Today, let us especially remember our trans sisters of color, who statistically experience more violence than our white sisters. Let us remember the victims from suicide, often our youngest – some of the world’s best and brightest – whose lives were ended prematurely from a sense of hopelessness, frustration and from mental illness brought on by a culture of hostility and transphobia. We must remember our fallen siblings who did sex work to survive, because we live in a world that economically disenfranchises us and puts many of us in situations where it’s survive, or turn our bodies into commodities. And once our bodies are commodified, it makes us vulnerable to forced sex trafficking – a violence so repugnant it must be wiped out immediately, yet law enforcement seems to consistently ignore it. We must remember these siblings’ lives, and honor them by fighting back. We must remember our non-binary siblings who have been killed, because they dare challenge a gender binary that is deeply ingrained in our history and traditions – history and traditions that are then spread around the globe via U.S. imperialism. We must remember our fallen trans and queer siblings in oppressed nations around the world, who don’t have access to the same care and communities that we have here in KC. We must demand justice for our sister Jennifer Laude, not only a victim of transphobic violence but racist imperialism since her murderer was a US Marine, who has still not answered to his crimes from either the government of the Philippines nor our own. Last but not least, we remember our anonymous dead, who are all greatly missed and loved.  Continue reading